I can hear it every evening from my second floor window. It’s out in the sun whenever I’m hunched over a computer cranking out a huge assignment. It’s in every hallway while I’m grinding through linear algebra proofs in office hours.
And everyone else is having it.
So you’ve probably experienced this before. That everyone else is spending this weekend ending world hunger or partying in Vegas or having the time of their lives and you’re just doing homework. Again. Just like yesterday and the day before. F.O.M.O., also known as “Fear of Missing Out” is merely a side effect of the Duck Syndrome–everyone looks calm on the surface but they’ve got to make up for all the time they didn’t spend working as diligently as you.
I often find myself struggling with a competing aspect of F.O.M.O. which is that I’m missing out on opportunities. In undergrad, I busied myself with numerous student organizations, 3 minors, 2 abroad service learning trips, 2 study abroad classes, 5 years of spoken word, several leadership positions and anything else that I could get my hands on. There was a perpetual fear that I would reflect on my experience and see that I had missed out.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, both represent common anxieties that twenty-somethings are facing. We are generally unsure about our future and insecure about making big decisions. I am taking a stand to live more consciously, fully, and intentionally every day. To take on what I can handle and no more. To do what I came here to do and no less. I want a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and I want to have an amazing time along the way. I’ve just got to let life run its course.
Drake’s New New Motto: Y.O.L.O. was so 2011, the new motto on the street is F.O.M.O. and you’re not alone. To whom much is given, much is tested. Part of this test involves sacrificing some aspects of your old life to make room for the new parts of you that need to burgeon. Give yourself permission to relax. Do things you love once in a while–that’s okay. We constantly feel like we’re missing out on life when it’s the very thing that we’re creating.
P.S. I’ve seen the other side, trust me, you’re not missing much. Keep up the grind and take care of that brain of yours!