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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

FOMO stands for the “Fear of Missing Out,” or the feeling that one is missing out on information, events, experiences or life decisions that could make one’s life better. FOMO can take control of one’s life and cause them to make decisions that probably aren’t always in their best interest.

I know that throughout my college experience, I have suffered from FOMO numerous times. The thing with FOMO is that it is just an idea made up in one’s head.

When attending college at a large university like Penn State, there is something fun going on any day of the week, even on a Monday. While it is nice always to have something to do, it can become a problem when there is too much.

I know I have struggled with saying no to plans, even when I had other priorities I needed to deal with. My freshman year at Penn State showed me that I needed to find a better way to balance my time. I remember that even when I felt overwhelmed with homework, if there was party the same night, I felt like I needed to go if I didn’t want to miss out.

I had this anxiety that if I wasn’t there, everyone who went would become best friends, and I would be left behind. This fear caused me to get behind with schoolwork and become exhausted.

The next day, I always asked myself if going out was worth it. To be honest, the majority of the time I did not miss out on anything crazy, and the smart move would have been to stay in and do my work.

This year, as a sophomore, I learned from my past decisions and have balanced my time better; however, I still sometimes have the anxiety of not doing the same thing as everyone else.

What makes FOMO so present in college is that everything is constantly posted on social media. I could be staying in and studying for an exam, but then see that one of my friends is out at a party, which would then cause the anxiety to creep in.

Having our lives on display at all times has changed how people behave and act. It is just important to remember that social media is not real, and all it does is highlight peoples’ best moments. As people get older, I think FOMO subsides as they become more sure of themselves and their own decisions.

Humans strive for social interaction, and this is where FOMO stems from. I think FOMO is a form of “social hunger,” since it is so present during college, which is understandable considering how many young people are simultaneously together in one place.

A way I have found to curb this “social hunger” during my college years is to know what exactly triggers these feelings of anxiety. During times when I know I have a lot of school work I need to do, but I also know my friends are going out, I will not go on my phone or social media.

This helps me get done what I need to and avoid looking at what I may be “missing out on.” Also, when situations like this come up, I remind myself of the past and how I woke up the next day regretting my decision – because the social event is never as amazing as it may look on social media.

Life is about decisions and how you allocate your time. While FOMO does suck, what sucks more is not putting yourself first. It is essential to take care of yourself, stick to your own plans and not be influenced by what others are doing.

Anyways, FOMO is the worst, but always remember that you are in control of it.

Jaden is a second-year at Penn State who is majoring in Advertising and minoring in Digital Media Trends and Analytics.