What do “most” college students do on the weekends? Pregame, party in a dorm, party at another school or party literally anywhere else they can find. Wrong. Many, if not more, students actually don’t drink and “go out.” It only seems as if that’s what everyone does because you only hear of the people who do. Nonetheless, it still feels like you’re missing out. Ditch the FOMO. Remember why you really decided to stay in on Saturday and get acquainted with your jammies.
Here’s 10 reasons why you shouldn’t feel FOMO in college.
1. Remember how gross parties really get
College parties often involve drinking and dancing in a crowded room with little-to-no air circulation. That means skin-to-skin contact with strangers—gross. No air circulation means the slick drip with sweat—disgusting. The music plays so loud that no worthwhile conversation can take place. You’re not missing out on much, really.
2. Think about the hangover you’re avoiding
People who drink at parties aren’t normally “lightly” intoxicated. At any university, students typically binge drink on the weekends or abstain entirely. It’s hard to find moderation with the motto, “work hard, play hard.” That means waking up on Sunday morning with a pounding headache and a sensitive stomach. By skipping the party (and therefore the drinking), you’ll approach homework with a clear mind before classes that week.
3. Do something you actually want to do
Students feel compelled to go to parties on the weekends. So that’s what they do even if they don’t like it. FOMO is so intense. But this feeling of missing out will go away if you end up doing something you really want to do. The enjoyment from that will overwhelm any FOMO that you feel. You’ll end up happier than if you were to go to a party.
4. Hang out with a friend
The most genuine conversations often occur between two good friends, not among strangers you meet at a party. Whether it’s watching a movie together or going out for dinner, the comforting atmosphere will relax and you. At parties it’s hard to feel like yourself. Being with a close friend is where all sorts of discovery happens.
5. Treat yourself
All week you probably stayed up late doing homework or studying for exams. In college you find very little free time to have to yourself. Sometimes being so busy means we neglect self-care. Take the weekend off as a time to be kind to yourself. Rest, practice yoga, go for a leisure walk, eat good food and relax. You’ll feel better mentally and physically. It’ll become clear that you’re not missing out while taking care of yourself.
6. Get involved with “chem-free” clubs
At every college there’s a club that meets on the Friday nights that’s free of substances. In these groups, students abstain from alcohol and socialize with like-minded people. You don’t need alcohol to have fun. You only need the right group of people. It seems like almost everyone in college drinks. But in reality many students don’t drink, and you’ll find these people at these kinds of clubs.
7. Avoid Social Media
Our world is full of distractions. Technology is one of them. Most times we get lost—almost absorbed—in a virtual reality created through social media apps like Instagram or Facebook. People create their virtual world however they like. It’s what they want you to see and not all of what actually happens in real life. Knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to browse through peoples’ profiles and seeing snapshots of their “wonderful” lives, so take a break. Step away from the phone. Step away from the virtual reality. Unplug and live in the now.
8. Change your habits
Maybe you’re feeling FOMO because you actually are missing out. That doesn’t mean that you need to go to parties or do what everyone else does. It might mean you should do something different. If for the past several weekends you’ve stayed up watching Netflix all alone in your room, change it up this weekend. Hang out with a friend. Explore the city. Doing the same thing gets boring. Changing your habits and spice things up.
9. Do something that makes you happy
“Fear of missing out” can be misconstrued as “fear of being unhappy.” Everyone has this fear, but it can be implied that following the status quo means that you won’t be miss out and therefore you’ll be happy. This isn’t true. I used to think it was though, so I’d force myself to go to parties on the weekends with some friends, knowing that I wouldn’t know anyone else at the party. Sure, people got drunk. People loosened up, including me, but I wasn’t “happy” because of it. Happiness doesn’t come from “going with the flow,” it comes from listening to your body and doing what you know what will make you happy.
10. Practice gratitude
Find yourself a peaceful space and reserve time for reflection. Think about everything that you have—your family, friends, an abundance of food, education or even simpler things such a roof over your head, clean water, heat or air conditioning, clothes. You know that many people who lack the basics. If you can put yourself in someone else’s place, even for just a couple minutes, before waking up to your own body and your own reality, the sense of gratefulness you’ll feel will overcome any “FOMO.” At the end of the day, more than one billion people live in extreme poverty, devoid of chance. These people are the ones who are truly missing out. Reflect and find a way to help them instead of worrying about the party down the street.
College Magazine does not promote underage drinking. Please drink responsibly.