The FOMO blues and how to deal


Living your best university life by squashing those feelings of missing out

Being a frosh is a new and exciting time for many. You’re FINALLY away from home with nobody to tell you what to do or where to be. The sense of freedom that comes with being in a new place is a thrilling experience that is incomparable to most.

Frosh week and weeks and months that follow will be chock-full of parties, meal hall dinners, house cups, exams, plenty of library time and of course, Instagram posts and Snapchat stories. Many of you have probably spent the summer months cramming in time with your high school chums as you prepare to dart around the provinces, country or even the world to your different colleges, universities, and jobs.

One of the most fun parts of starting your year will be checking out what everyone is up to on Friday nights and sharing your own fun times and new friends with the world of social media. You’ll probably follow your new floor mates and class buddies along with trying to keep up with your BFFs from back home. But along with all the sharing, liking, following and snapping often comes a haunting, irritating feeling, that is legitimately psychological. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a social stressor that can occur in our lives when we feel like our decisions and actions are being based on not missing out on something that may not even exist.

Without fail, in university there will be nights where you are not feeling your best, maybe you have a class at 8:00 am, a midterm to study for, a Netflix special to watch, a dwindling bank balance or perhaps you straight up just do not want to attend whatever the night holds. At StFX, you will find that there is fun to be had almost every night of this week. This does not mean you should check EVERYTHING out all the time, even if you are worried that you may miss out on something. Trying to participate in everything just because you have FOMO will honestly, speaking from experience, burn you out. To talk to you about the struggles of FOMO a little bit more in depth, allow me to let you in on a few little secrets.

1. Most nights will end up being a little less fun than you expect them to be and many of them will seem just the same as the last. This is not to say that nights out and time spent with new friends are not worth it, they totally are, but there will always be a next time. It is not necessary to go out every night to have the best time ever.

2. Your memories are your own and what makes them special is that not everyone has the same ones. What I mean by this is that, going out when you really want to on nights when you can afford to do so, without compromising your classes or well-being are the nights that you will value. Rather than trying to keep up with your peers, if that is not your thing, make your experiences and time at StFX unique to your own desires. A collection of quality nights will be more memorable than a string of hundreds you can hardly differentiate from one another.

3. There is about a 2% chance you will regret not going out the next day. There is nothing more satisfying than walking into your 8:15 fully rested and freshly showered when everyone else is struggling to stay awake. FYI, there is nothing worse than going to class sickeningly hungover. There is also nothing more difficult than trying to write a midterm or a final while being hungover, trust me on this one.

4. I doubt everyone is having as much fun as you think they are. Maybe you're lying in bed on a Friday night, you can hear hollering outside your door, your Snapchat inbox is full and Instagram is littered with hallway selfies. This is the height of your FOMO and I am not going to say it doesn't suck to lay there and feel the pressure to go check it out. Keep in mind, people only show the good stuff on social media. Maybe you’re struggling with your first few weeks away from home and it seems like all your friends are adjusting flawlessly but, I promise you that this is not always as it seems. A lot of people have challenges being away from home and of course, they want everyone to think they are having a great experience. Nobody’s Snapchat stories feature the tears, loneliness, insecurity, or late night walks home alone because your friends ditched you which honestly, we all may face at some point. Try and take every social media post with a grain of salt and remember that everyone, like you, are not and cannot be having a perfect time all the time.

I’m sure there will be times when you go out even though you have class the next day but ultimately this time in your life is about slowly learning how to take care of yourself while on your own and doing what is best for yourself. Ultimately, this process will help you learn to feel confident in your decisions even if they sometimes stray away from the crowd. To be honest, the only real thing you should have FOMO about is missing class.

Maybe a night in with your buddies watching movies will beat another night at the Pub, and more often than not, there is no regret around a little dose of alone time or some R&R. You have hundreds of university nights ahead of you so don’t let the FOMO get you down, instead, try and slow it down to make the most of the amazing moments you have. I promise you, there will be lots.