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You’re Not The Only One With FOMO In College

FOMO: fear of missing out. We all know it, we’ve all had it. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced time and time again. I understand the desire to brush off your FOMO, dismiss it, invalidate it, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to.

Over the past few months, colleges around the country have been returning to the normalcy of tailgates, bar hopping, and frat parties. Here at UMich, we’ve experienced game days at the Big House, attended formals and date parties, and seen lines spanning down the block at Skeeps. It’s been the first time in the two years that we’ve experienced a U-M scene reminiscent of life pre-pandemic. 

As much as this renewed sense of social activity is exciting, it has its consequences, namely FOMO. With more events to miss out on, there is a greater fear of missing out. Many people, including myself, have pushed themselves to party every weekend to make up for lost time. We’ve all been reminded that college is “just four years” and to “go out every chance you can” by our peers. While it’s fun to be social and meet new people, it’s also exhausting and time-consuming. So whether it be to catch up on the essay you said you would start two weeks ago or to throw on sweats and watch The Parent Trap, we all need a night in.  

It’s not always that easy, though. I know the feeling of scrolling through Snapchat stories of everyone going out while you sit at your desk with a thirty-page reading in front of you. I know the feeling of listening to music blasting throughout your dorm on a Thursday night when you just want to go to sleep. I know the feeling of being afraid that you are missing out on what could potentially be the best night of your college experience (spoiler alert: it’s not going to be). It’s totally normal to have these feelings, so don’t stress yourself out about them. Just know that you are not the only one with them. 

There will always be another chance to hang out with friends, and there will always be another weekend to try a new bar. Sometimes, it’s better to do work, watch TV, or just go to sleep early. And if your FOMO is hard to ignore, remind yourself that if you don’t take time to relax, you won’t enjoy the times when you do decide to go out and be social. FOMO might not go away completely, but if you are confident in and happy about what you are doing, then it’s worth it. 

Carly Brechner is a UMich sophomore from Philadelphia studying Communications and Media. When she isn't reading or writing, she is gossiping about pop culture and exploring all that Ann Arbor has to offer.
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