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How to Deal with FOMO

School can be extremely stressful, what with papers and tests and readings, football games and clubs and, of course, your social life. With all of these responsibilities, it’s bound to happen that you have to miss out on a few things. FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” is a real thing, especially in college. When all your friends decide that going to the Tuesday night basketball game is a good idea and invite you, of course you want to go. Everyone is going to have so much fun, not to mention take lots of pictures and make a few inside jokes. 

So, what do you do if you have a huge test the next day? You have a few options:

1. Just go to the game. You’ll get to be in pictures, understand the jokes made at section dinner tomorrow, and have an eventful Tuesday night. You can just pull an all-nighter and study for that exam later.

2. Hang back and study. You’ll miss the game and pictures, but there will be fun stories at dinner tomorrow, and you’ll get an A on that exam for sure. You’ll even get a solid night’s sleep.

3. Go for a while, but leave the game at halftime. You’ll get to have some fun, but you’ll get more time to study while also getting some time to sleep.

All of these options clearly have pros and cons. It’s really up to you and what you think you can handle. If you are a person that NEEDS sleep in order to function at all the next day, probably option number two would be the best. However, if you know you can survive through the morning with a couple cups of coffee, and if you think you know the exam material well enough, go ahead and pick option one or three!

College is about having fun and getting a good education. It’s important to learn to balance your social life with your academics. Time management skills will not only help you do well in college, but will also help you succeed in the real world post-graduation. You have to think about you when making plans. Learning what conditions stress you out and how well you perform under stress is a good idea. Knowing these things will help you when making decisions about your social life.

Another important note: missing out on one night is not going to kill your social life. You have four years at college, and you’re going to have plenty of fun times with your friends.  Missing two funny jokes and not being tagged in three pictures is not the end of the world, I promise. You won’t regret missing a night out when you get your exam back and you scored well.

All in all, FOMO is definitely something you’ll deal with in college. When you’re faced with a decision about whether or not to go out, don’t stress too much about it. Think about what will make you feel the most comfortable in the long run. Your friends won’t hate you or forget about you if you decide not to go. Do what makes you happy, keeps you healthy and sane, and is right for you. Just remember: there’s always tomorrow night.


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I'm from Oneida, NY and have been a Notre Dame fan my entire life.  I recently changed my major to psychology and have a minor in Education, Schooling, and Society.  I studied "abroad" in Washington, DC in the fall of 2013 and interned with the D.C. Public School District.  I am a tennis coach and a piano teacher outside of school.
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