Column: Fear of missing out in college


Maddie Zimmerman, Columnist

Whether you’ve heard the term “F.O.M.O.” or not, everyone has felt this way in their life. F.O.M.O., which stands for fear of missing out, is not something anyone wants to feel.

You know when your friends go out and you stay in and all you see on social media is people having an amazing night? It makes you feel like crap for staying in, right? But why? Why is F.O.M.O. so common in this generation?

This generation has quite literally trained us to compare everything we do with one another. I may sound like my mom, but I believe that social media is to blame for this. We live in a time where you have to do the most, be the most, travel the most, spend the most, and have the most. Why?

Celebrities are living proof that having it all doesn’t always mean being the most content with life. Most celebrities with that much money are miserable. So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to go out to fit in? Why do we get so upset when we see that other people are out and we’re not? 

It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to sit at home with a movie and popcorn on a Saturday night. Our generation makes it seem like you have to go out and spend the night drinking, partying and stumbling around to have a “good” night.

Remember that social media is a highlight reel. Nothing you post on snapchat is raw. So when you sit alone on a Friday night, remind yourself of that. When I stay home or can’t find plans or feel like I have no friends sometimes, I try to stay off of my phone.

Social media makes you feel worse. If I’m being honest I’ve seen people taking videos of somewhere I’m at and they make it seem like so much fun when in reality it’s 10 people total hovering around a speaker playing lame music. You’re never really missing out. 

Half of the time I would rather stay at home with close friends and watch a movie versus going out and being around a bunch of sweaty teenagers in an apartment. Social media tricks us into thinking that staying-in isn’t “cool” or that it’s the wrong choice.

You don’t have to go out to fit in. Be yourself. Make your own decisions. If you want to get dressed up and go out with friends, then do it. If you want to sit alone in your apartment with your cat and paint your nails instead, then do it. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing on a weekend or during your free time, only you can.