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FOMO: Just Another Day in the Life of a College Student

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

FOMO, or formally known as “Fear of Missing Out,” is one of every college student’s worst nightmares. It’s a fear linked to social anxiety of one not participating in things they feel they should be participating in. Though it especially occurs in new college students, everyone is affected by it to some degree or another. For college freshmen or transfer students, it can be hard to adjust to fluid schedules and the copious amounts of events that are going on at campus and in the new city you now call home. This is because college is such a diverse place, and you truly have the freedom to do whatever you want. With this in mind, every person has their own life going on full of their own events, clubs, and sports. While other students and your friends have their own thing going on, it’s easy to feel like you are missing out in college. Remember to never be too reliant on anyone or anything. Be yourself, an individual, because you don’t need to be constantly doing something or being with someone to make you happy. Here are some tips to help you to get over FOMO, because you are literally worrying your university days away with it!

Put Down the Phone

Today, as a society, we are so in-tuned with what is happening online and especially what is happening with other people. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are three apps that connect us globally, but they are also time-consuming black holes that we get sucked into. They like to highlight everything we miss: that sold-out concert you couldn’t get tickets to, the lacrosse game with the free shirts you couldn’t make, or karaoke night you totally forgot about. People forget that social media displays the high points of others’ lives, and it makes them feel like they are lame for not going to the same party that popped up in their Instagram feed. A tip for this it to cut down how many times you check into your accounts. Live more in tune with your life offline than online, and you won’t be bombarded with the overwhelming chaos of everything that is happening with everyone. Keep up with yourself rather than your Twitter followers!

Recognize Your Interests and What You Dislike

College is a place to explore everything you couldn’t or didn’t have the chance to before. With thousands of people put together and endless possibilities living on a college campus or in a college town, you couldn’t name all the things possible to be involved with. Figuring out your niche and what interests you can help you get over this fear, though. Finding like-minded people is like networking for your interests. It gives you a community to discover things you may actually enjoy. Also, trying things once is the best way to figure out what you don’t like. Check off activities and new things on your list, but don’t return to them if it isn’t worth it. Do not keep going to soccer games if you hate soccer and go because everyone in one of your classes was talking about it! What is the point of doing things that aren’t exhilarating? You will truly be missing out and wasting your time by choosing what you do based off of others and not yourself.

Go with the Flow

This may be “easier said than done” advice, but if you can truly let go of your inhibitions, life will be so much smoother for you! It’s difficult to stop feeling anxiety about the subject, especially since you are trying to figure out life in college, but letting go and being more care-free to a certain extent can help you. This whole carpe diem sentiment doesn’t mean you should fail or skip your classes, but life shouldn’t be a rigid plan that you have to follow. Do spontaneous things with your friends and hold on to those butterflies in your stomach when you get excited or nervous in a good way. These are the moments to live for, the ones where you are genuinely and perfectly content with life.

Today, especially with social media showcasing the lives of everyone around us, people are vulnerable to feel like they are not being included or are missing out on vital memories. I promise you are not! Do what you love, and don’t worry about what other people are involved in or not involved in. You are your own person and you have to realize that everyone has their own interests, their own lives that are not and cannot be identical to yours. It’s okay to not attend every single thing, because there will always be something more, whatever it is: another event on campus or friends hanging out! College is a vast place with a plethora of opportunities. When one opportunity expires, ten more pop up. So, relax and do your thing, take a breather because FOMO is real for everyone. If you go home for the weekend, don’t let that group chat you have with your friends at college force you to be freaking out at your parent’s home wanting to go back to school. There will be countless weekends in the four plus years you spend at college. You have to realize you just can’t do it all, and that’s alright because no one can.