So, I just finished the first semester of my first year at Queen’s, and before moving in I watched countless university advice videos on YouTube and TikTok and they all said the same thing: take every opportunity to go out and meet people!
I am a very socially anxious person, so hearing this scared me. However, I knew nobody when going into high school, so I was no stranger to starting conversations and forcing myself to socialize.
Don’t get me wrong, lots of good does come out of putting yourself out there. Some of my closest friends have been made from a simple “…hi” in an awkward conversation. The advice I gained from the university videos is absolutely correct in telling you to take advantage of social opportunities but some days, I simply didn’t feel like going out. Nevertheless, I felt terrible because I was ignoring the university advice that was shouted from the rooftops: “get out there and make the most of your first year! You will never get these times back!” (Cue Ribs by Lorde).
The sounds of chatter and laughter from groups of people outside my dorm window only contributed to my intensifying fear of missing out (FOMO). After all this time, of forcing myself to socialize no matter my mental state, I finally came to the realization that it was just plain exhausting. If you’re going to go through all the effort of getting ready and meeting your friends just to feel unfulfilled and drained as you watch people jump off elevated surfaces, it’s just not worth it.
Now without further ado, here are some ways that you can overcome your FOMO on those days when you couldn’t be bothered.
1. Limit Social Media Consumption
Seeing people who are making it look like they’re having fun will only worsen your FOMO. It drives the constant shifting from “should I? Or should I not?” anxiety, so it’s best to not seek out events on social media. However, if you do stumble upon a social media post, you must always remember that typing “last night was a great movie” is much easier than orchestrating a night out where nothing goes wrong, or no one goes missing.
2. Do Something that You Know Will Bring You Joy
I mean…you might as well, right? This can include watching your favorite comfort show (I recommend New Girl), playing a video game, reading your book, showering, taking a bath, or watching video essays on YouTube.
3. Do Some Indoor Activities with Friends
I mean hey, if you all changed your minds about going out but still want to salvage the evening (or procrastinate), then why not look toward some indoor-oriented activities. Here are some ideas:
- A “so good it’s bad” movie night
- Cooking or baking
- Board game night
- PowerPoint night (everyone makes a google slides presentation or PowerPoint about whatever topic they want)
4. Try Something That You Have Been Putting Off For a While
If you have a free evening, and lately you’ve been feeling like a school and work machine, it couldn’t hurt to try something you’ve been wanting to start (or pick up again) and see where it takes you. It’s okay if you find out that you don’t enjoy it though, at least you can say you tried. This can include trying out that recipe that has always intrigued you, getting back to that book that’s been on your shelf for a while, and picking up a hobby that you started but haven’t picked up since (embroidery for me).
Trying to live up to the “university party life” portrayed in the media is exhausting and honestly, unnecessary. Work hard and play hard (but only when you feel like it.)