FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a staple of young adulthood. But it seems to skyrocket in college. Here are seven types of FOMO most people will experience in college.
1. Multiple friend groups FOMO
This type of FOMO happens when your friend groups aren’t integrated. Maybe you’re hanging out with your sorority sisters, but you see Snapchats of your high school best friends at a party. Or your friends from class at a movie. Or your friends from work at a concert. And though you love the people you’re with, there’s a small part of you that wonders if you’re missing out on memories in other circles.
2. Under-21 FOMO
There’s nothing like feeling your stomach drop when you’re having a night in with friends and one of them says, “Let’s go to the bars!” When you’re under 21, you have two options when this happens: offer to be a DD or pretend you have too much homework to stay out.
3. “I have to work” FOMO
You need money. You’re broke. That’s why you have this job. But every time your alarm goes off, you ask yourself, “Do I really need to eat this week?” And when the weekend rolls around, you aren’t free to go on the day trips and dining sprees that your friends have planned. And every time they invite you, you tell them you have work. But somehow, they always forget and ask again a week later.
4. In-a-relationship FOMO
Spending every spare second with your significant other is easy to do, especially with a first love. Nothing seems as important. But as you’re cuddled up on the couch with your guy or girl, you can’t help but wonder what’s going on at that party you ditched for date night. You pretend to be annoyed at the string of texts from your friends asking where you are. But truth be told, you miss the single life sometimes. And you wonder what crazy stories you’re going to read in the group chat the next day.
5. Academic FOMO
Part of the college experience is being surrounded by successful, smart people. It’s exciting, but it can be anxiety-producing when you hear about everyone else’s GPA, scholarships and post-graduate plans. You have to wonder if you’re on the right track. Should you should switch your major to something more academically impressive? Should you try to join every honors society? How do people even cram in all these classes and meetings? Do they sleep? How is that guy doing five summer internships AND volunteering at a soup kitchen?
6. Social anxiety FOMO
You’ve made plans, but your brain is messing with you. You’ve tried everything to calm down enough to be social. But you can’t shake it. And the worst part is that you WANT to hang out with your friends, you WANT to go meet new people, you WANT to go have fun. But you cancel, sit in bed, and feel terrible instead.
7. Traveling FOMO
It’s summer break. And if you have to see one more oversaturated study abroad photo, you’re going to lose it. Why is everyone and their dog in Italy? Did Karen from honors history just post ANOTHER picture by the Trevi Fountain? Good lord. But also, that’s pretty cool. Should you take a gap year and travel? Should you start saving up to go to Italy, too? Should you call the study abroad office? Like, now?