Is missing a night out at the Union or the local pub really as “end of the world” as we think? FOMO makes us all feel like we’re missing out on what could’ve been the best night ever- but what if that assignment deadline is creeping up? Label Volunteer Melissa Handley gives her top tips and tricks on how to overcome the Fear Of Missing Out.

The fear of missing out, also referred to as FOMO, is a prevalent emotion during many people’s youth and university lives. From a young age, we’ve been brought up to always say yes to events, going out with friends and spending an ungodly amount of money on alcohol. But is it always worth it? How does one try to stay sociable while keeping up with their uni workload and deadlines up?

FOMO makes us believe that we’ve missed out on an event that could have changed our lives… but this just isn’t realistic. These kinds of things are portrayed on social media to have been an incredible time, when in reality that is only a small chunk of content that someone has decided to upload onto their profile. You wouldn’t upload everything that you do onto your social media, would you? 

Something that many students struggle with, especially with exam season approaching, is the constant FOMO due to finalising assignments. In this period in particular, it is extremely difficult to prioritise what you want to do, versus what you need to do. Something that always reassures me, is knowing that you’ll have time to see your friends after the deadlines have passed. In the grand scheme of things, your work is far more important than going to one minuscule event that you are eventually going to forget about. Coming to terms with that makes it a lot easier to prioritise your time correctly.

Carrying on from my previous point; once you start to manage your time effectively, you’ll have more control of your schedule and you will be able to find more free time to go out with friends. For example, if you need to get an essay finished that is due next week, that should be your main priority over a night out or going to the pub with friends. Alternatively, you could do a large chunk of your work (or even finish) during the day, thus creating time in the evening for you to go out and socialise. 

When it comes to FOMO, something that you need to remember is that we as humans have made it up in our heads. Of course sometimes we get upset that we can’t attend a particular event, but we just have to get on with it. The more that you think about it or look on social media to see your friends going out, the worse it will make you feel. There will be so many more opportunities to see our friends and go to the union… unlike meeting that assignment deadline!

Whether we like it or not, we all experience the fear of missing out. It could be going to the local pub, the student’s union or even to a friend’s house – the feeling is still there. Overcoming the fear of missing out is challenging for many students but it all starts with your mentality. Here are some top mental tips for you when your FOMO starts to hit;

  • Social media is not real – realistically your other friends are not having the best time.
  • You don’t have to always go out – we all feel different types of peer pressure which can go hand in hand with the fear of missing out. Don’t let your inner intrusive thoughts control your actions.
  • You’re at university for a reason – of course we all want to have fun at uni, but when it comes to those serious deadlines we need to concentrate to achieve our future goals.

Edited by: Caitlin Phillips – Lifestyle editor

Header designed by: Meg Crowther- Head of Design


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