Dealing with FOMO as Students

19 September 2022

No matter how well prepared you are for university, it is inevitable for us as a student to feel FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) from time to time, and this might affect our mood. FOMO is the social anxiety coming from the belief that other people are living better, more satisfying lives or that critical opportunities are being missed. However, trying to do everything at once often leads us to do very little of anything, or not be able to enjoy what we are doing fully. Over time, this also increases your stress and anxiety level. As a student, being able to acknowledge your FOMO and finding ways to overcome it might help you to have a more fulfilling university life.

Dig deeper; what’s the root cause?

FOMO sometimes stems from other things such as loneliness, low self-esteem, or being unsatisfied with where you at in life. Maybe we feel lonely or we feel isolated, which is common for students. Take the time to sit down and have time with yourself to write and find out what the actual reason is. Why am I unsatisfied with life? Is it possible that I have been comparing myself to others? Am I not happy with my current situation? Maybe I have high expectations of the ‘perfect’ student life. Understanding this feeling will help us to find better ways to discover a healthy and straightforward solution.

Minimize distractions from social media

As much as we know it, social media can be toxic as we often only get to see the most perfect and curated side of one’s life. Take time off social media for a while and remember to spend time talking and hanging out with friends and housemates. There are a lot of great benefits of taking a social media detox from time to time. Furthermore, curating your social media following also helps you to filter out unnecessary information and helps you narrow down social media into an inspiring platform instead of one which adds extra negative pressure.

Friends are investments

The motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Sometimes, negativity can get into us when we are surrounded by superficial friendships, or when we feel frustrated about having to constantly try to fit in a certain group. Finding genuine, like-minded people helps you a long way in being more content with your life and avoiding feeling FOMO. Have friends that you can chill with, be yourself around, and peers that genuinely support you and your passions. Do not bother to stay where you are not appreciated!

The grass is not always greener on the other side

In the end, everyone is living their own lives, and we all have times when we overthink and we can’t help but compare ourselves with others. It is easy to feel like we are the only ones feeling down and isolated, but everyone else, in their way, has their worries. It is natural to only share the best moments in their life, but that doesn’t make the sad moments any less valid. Practising gratitude and understanding that life is not a competition will help you feel less FOMO.

Reach out to friends and let people know when you are feeling isolated. FOMO is a temporary feeling and should not stop you from being excited about life. Lastly, a good quote I came across on Reddit once was to remember to conduct yourself in life as if you are at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass by you? Don’t stop it. But if it hasn’t come yet, then don’t desire it, but wait until it arrives in front of you. Good luck in navigating student life!