FOMO in College: What it Is and How to Avoid It - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life College Preparation
March 29, 2017

FOMO in College: What it Is and How to Avoid It

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a common phenomenon among college students, who, unfortunately, cannot be in all places at all times. The very decision to attend a specific college by necessity means missing out on developments back home or at other educational institutions. Banish FOMO with these key tactics:

Pursue Greater Involvement in Campus Life

It's easy to worry about missing out on the excitement back home when you're sitting alone in your dorm room and pining about your old life. If, however, you throw yourself into your new life on campus, you'll be less inclined to feel that you're missing out. Join a club, start a study group, or make weekend plans with your new neighbors.

Limit Social Media Nostalgia

TimeHop can cause major problems among new college students, who get stuck in an endless trap of reliving their high school glory days. There's nothing wrong with an active presence on social media (especially if it helps you build new connections on campus), but if you spend all your time looking at old photos and status updates, it might be better to limit your time on Facebook and Instagram.

A recent study highlighted by Time found that those with strong FOMO consistently used Facebook upon waking up, during meals, and right before going to sleep at night. If you find yourself observing this harmful pattern, remove social media apps from your phone, or, at minimum, limit notifications on any accounts that stir up those painful FOMO feelings.

Plan Memorable Outings For When You Return

FOMO is driven, in part, by the belief that you and your loved ones will grow apart while you are away. Keeping in touch is easier than you think, however, thanks to modern technology. Set up regular phone or Skype dates to keep your friends and family in the know about your latest exploits on campus. As Thanksgiving or Christmas break approaches, start planning for special outings with those you haven't seen in months. Make new memories at your favorite haunts; you'll cherish these experiences even more now that you've lived apart.

Remember, You're Not Always Missing Out

Everybody puts their best foot forward on Facebook. But those online pictures can be misleading, and sometimes, you're actually missing out on a miserable experience. When you hear about your friends and acquaintances' latest adventures, take the news with a grain of salt; they might not tell you of their current struggles or their own FOMO when they learn of your college exploits.

Learn to Accept Change and Move On

Despite your best efforts to cling to the relationships you held dear in high school, some of your friends (or even family members) may eventually go their own way. Losing touch is always painful, but it's sometimes necessary in order to make room for new — and often better — friendships. You're evolving every day in college, and so are your old high school friends. Letting go is one of the most difficult aspects of college, but as you grow and change, you'll quickly come to accept that some things are better left in the past.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your academic, career, and personal goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or