FOMO in College

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Fear of missing out.

We come to college with high expectations. Since we were young, a certain notion of the college experience has been drilled into our heads. They’re supposed to be the best days of our lives. They’re the days where you find the friends you’ll have forever. The time when you’ll meet your future partner. I can’t count on my hands the amount of expectations I had coming into college. But I can count the ones that have actually come true. Sure, I’ve only been here for a certain number of months. But that doesn’t stop me from looking towards others in comparison. When it’s a Friday night and I sit in my bed alone, I can hear the shouts of the friends having fun across campus. When it’s a Saturday night and I’m eating alone, I can see that cute couple having their third date this week. When it’s a Sunday night and I'm in the library, I'm studying while others spend quality time with their family nearby. The longer I’ve been at college, the more I’ve found myself looking for the ways in which my hopes are not being met. I was hit hard by the slap of reality and I’m still reeling from the sting. But what good comes from this comparison, besides the accomplishment of making myself more miserable than I was before? There is none. There is nothing to gain from comparing ourselves to others, especially when we only look for the ways in which they excel and we falter. This kills our confidence and limits our pursuit of success and contentment. I know I am not the only one who has experienced this. I know I am not the only student who thinks that they have no friends to occupy their time or a significant other to occupy their heart.  But you know what? I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. Give yourself time. Pursue what makes you happy. Pursue your education, your sole purpose for being in college. Stop listening to the expectations of others and instead, look towards your own dreams and work towards them. Most importantly, have trust. Trust that our experience is each our own. We never know we’re in the good days until we’ve left them. So embrace them while you can.

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