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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Coming out of the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with a lack of a traditional high school experience, I can’t be the only one to say that the pressure to have that university experience was on: the party life, homecoming, meeting new lifelong friends, and maintaining an amazing GPA.

I would love to say that I’m super confident in my university life that I don’t experience any fear of missing out (FOMO), but in reality, it was terrible enough that I felt burnt out near the end of the year. 

FOMO consumed my second year of university with the overwhelming pressure to embrace the stereotypical university experience. I was chasing that university experience, where saying no to an event felt like I was falling behind. Hearing about something I didn’t go to felt like I missed out on making memories, and instant regret would fill my mind.

So, rather than feel regret, I exerted myself beyond my means to make it to every social outing possible. On top of that, I participated in extracurricular activities and case competitions and was working part-time. To say I was tired at times is not even the beginning of it. 

The prevalence of social media amplifies these feelings, as we often witness glimpses of peers’ seemingly perfect university lives, and it felt like I was falling behind. However, after an intense year of running after every opportunity, I realized how repetitive everything felt — each time I went out, it began to feel like a chore. Not to mention, I was so burnt out that I could barely keep up with my classes. 

To overcome this, I had to question myself. What experiences made me feel the most excited? That’s when I knew which events I should say yes to and no to. I recognized that it’s impossible to participate in every social activity, so I should focus on what makes me truly happy.

I began by surrounding myself with friends who understand and respect my choices. Even if I declined to go out, they would continue to invite me to upcoming events and give me an option rather than pressuring me to join. Also, I started to acknowledge that social media often showcases highlights rather than the full truth of experiences. 

Learning to implement balance is the best advice for anyone experiencing FOMO. University is a time of self-discovery and embracing diversity in experiences to enrich your personal growth. Stepping out of your comfort zone while also knowing your limits and how much you can exert yourself can help the feeling of FOMO.

Do yourself a favour, give your mind a break, and make your own version of the university lifestyle you are hoping for!

Shobi Siva

Toronto MU '25

Shobi is a third-year Economics student at Toronto Metropolitan University, minoring in English. With a passion for writing, hoping to connect young woman in post-secondary education through open, and candid conversations. All while keeping things light hearted, reassuring, and being unafraid to laugh at yourself.