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The Five Stages of Summer FOMO as Told by Bob’s Burgers

You’re sitting at your desk, watching the minutes go by as you anxiously await 5:00. You’re a college student, yet you work a 9 to 5 job as an intern to build resume experience. The crippling anxiety that comes with adulting has steadily taken over your life. Sighing, you open your phone and pull up Instagram to pass the time. The first post: a bikini photo of your best friend from high school in Bali. The second: your sorority sister hanging out with Post Malone at a music festival. You scroll through endless photos of exes, friends, family members – all of them on grand summer adventures while you are stuck in a cubicle.

If you’ve experienced this, congrats! You officially have been struck with a case of summer FOMO (or fear of missing out). You are one of the select few that has chosen to get a job and deal with the real-world struggles of budgeting, skipping out on parties to get sleep for work, meal prepping –  you name it. Like all other losses, the loss of an exciting and memorable summer to a job can be traumatic. But, like any other loss, you can easily survive it.


1. Denial

Like Louise, when scrolling through these photos you most likely feel your eyes beginning to twitch as you sit at your desk. You stare at the gray wall in front of you and force a smile on your face. “I’m having fun,” you tell yourself. “This job is FUN! I’m getting experience.” You try and list out all the pros of the job: money, resume builder, learning. What could be better in the Caribbean that your job can’t offer? Oh yeah, a tan.


2. Anger

Louise pretty much sums it up again here, as we all feel these Instagram photos have to be one big lie. Can you really be enjoying the summer breeze in your hair while lounging on a boat, Becky? And won’t your dad just get you a job at his company anyways, Jessica? You feel disgust and hatred while you stare at these pictures, wondering why these people got so lucky. You trash them to anyone who will listen and criticize every new post they upload, looking for flaws in their appearance to make up for the jealousy of their vacation.


3. Bargaining

By the end of the summer, you have only a few weeks left before you’re stuck in Hillman pulling all-nighters. You want just one day on the beach, or to go to at least one festival, even if it’s just for a day. You sit down with your parents, begging them to give you just a hundred for gas or to help pay for that last-minute ticket. You barter with your co-workers, offering to pick up a shift or to lose money in order for them to cover that day. You will literally sell your soul to the devil for one gram picture, only to realize it just won’t happen.


4. Depression

You look back on your summer, feeling as if it was a complete waste. You reminisce on your dreams, maybe not in a pink bunny hat, but still, we all had wishes to spend the summer in Cancun. You lay in bed at night, stalking the girl at your school with thousands of followers and a picturesque life that includes spontaneous weekends in Malibu and a yearly trip to Italy. You begin to ignore your friends because they can’t compare to an international vacation or a day spent drinking on the beach. Who even decided summer was a good time anyways?


5. Acceptance

Finally, you decide to take a break from Instagram. You enjoy your time with your friends at home before everyone heads back to school and you find little things every day that make it worthwhile to have a job. Eventually, O-week rolls around and as your friends decide they can’t go out for the fifth night in a row because they can’t afford to, you look at the fat stack of cash in your bank account from your summer job. While your friends are stuck at home by the end of the semester, comparing their trips around the world nostalgically because they can’t pay for another night out, you and your other pals are living it up with no anxiety about choosing between a week’s worth of groceries or having a nice night. You smile, fire raging in the background and cash flowing in the breeze as you realize maybe working all summer wasn’t that bad after all. 

Emma is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying communication and political science. She is originally from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania aka Taylor Swift's hometown. In her free time, Emma is a member of Theta Phi Alpha and serves as their junior Panhellenic rep, as well as a member of the Pink Campus Team. She enjoys listening to music, watching movies, reading, writing, and going to the gym.
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