In college, there’s always something going on. Whether your friends are getting ready for a frat party or your student club is hosting a late night event, there’s always more than one thing happening at the same time. Try as you might, you can’t always make time in your busy college schedule to do it all.
Cue the FOMO.
Thankfully, many college students suffer from this condition, so you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. I’m a FOMO survivor, and I’ve learned from my experience that there are many ways to manage the condition–even though it may never fully go away.
My story started at the beginning of this semester. It was the start of my second semester of freshman year. I arrived back on the University of Maryland campus excited to spend time with my friends and go out to all of the pre-syllabus week parties.
Unfortunately, my expectations were shattered when I was hit with the worst sickness I’ve had in a long time. We’re talking bed-ridden for days, here. Instead of spending my night out with friends, I was laying in the emergency room of Washington-Adventist hospital with an IV in my arm and wires attaching me to a heart monitor.
Sure, at the moment I was less concerned with the parties and more concerned with the crippling pain, but once the pain meds started kicking in and the hospital discharge papers were nowhere in sight, I started to thinking about all of the fun times I was missing.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I realized the FOMO had truly set in. I was in my dorm, safe and sound, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave my bed. I knew there was no way I’d be spending that Saturday night anywhere but in my dorm room.
I watched in jealousy as my roommate dressed for the night out. As she was doing her hair and make-up and telling me about everyone she was planning to meet up with that night, the true FOMO attack hit me. What if she makes new friends without me? What if she has too much fun and never wants to hang out with me again? The unrealistic and absurd thoughts raced through my head at a million miles per hour.
Luckily for me, my roommate loves me, and my FOMO quickly subsided. I realized then that nothing good comes from worrying. People miss out on things all of the time. Your friends know who you are, and if they’re at all good friends, they’ll never truly forget about you. My roommate came back with entertaining stories, and by the time she was done talking, I almost felt like I had actually been there.
Over the next few days I started feeling better, and I was able to leave my dorm for the first time in a while. I realized that even though I felt like I’d missed out on so much, college life can be pretty lame sometimes. A snowstorm held a ton of people back a few days, so many of my other friends had been stuck in their houses as well, missing out just like me.
I wasn’t alone.
College is a crazy fast-paced journey. There’s so much crammed into four years, and even as a freshman, I can tell it’s all going by so quickly. Sure, I may miss out on a few things here and there, and I’ll surely have a few more FOMO attacks before I graduate. At the end of the day, I’m enjoying my college experience and trying to make the most of every minute. With so much to do all the time, there’s honestly nothing to have FOMO about.