Dismissing missing out

Hailee Steinfeld plays a high schooler amidst social isolation in the movie “Edge of Seventeen.” Sony Pictures.

How to find JOMO when you get FOMO

As many students begin to go back to school across the country,–CU Boulder, Boise State, U of A, Parsons, Yale–some may choose to stay home for an extra two years at their local community college. While some of us who end up enrolling at community college enjoy the simpler lifestyle of online learning, one to four classes a semester, little to no tuition and sleeping in our own bedrooms, many of us also face a daunting foe. A fate that may even be crippling to some, something so extraordinarily painful that it might make you cry just by being reminded of it: FOMO.

FOMO stands for “the fear of missing out,” which is a certain anxiety someone may feel when knowing that they are missing out on something fun or exciting.

The fear of missing out can become a real struggle for community college students, especially if you are addicted to your phone, as most are these days. Seeing most of your friends having the times of their lives partying, learning and living in dorms with all of their new friends can make one feel a bit disheartened sitting on the couch on a Saturday night.

Believe it or not, there has been a decent amount of psychological research put into the feeling of FOMO. Time author, Eric Barker analyses a study showing that FOMO stems from unhappiness. Most studies conclude that it is rooted from social media and everyone solely showcasing the happy parts of their lives, perhaps making others feel as though they are doing something wrong by feeling lonely, sad or exhausted from having to work or do homework all day instead of going out.

However, when you’re tapping through your friend from UCSB’s Snapchat story that displays their outrageously fun Friday night, it is important to remind yourself that they probably left out the part about someone puking all over their shoes. My point is that typically people only exhibit the greater aspects of their life on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

“It can definitely leave someone feeling insecure, anxious and can be an all-consuming feeling,” expresses current Saddleback College student, Mia Nash. Nevertheless, if you are familiar with these emotions, there is no need to panic because there are many exercises to practice when experiencing FOMO.

Overcoming FOMO can look something like changing up your regular routine, finding gratitude in the things you do have right now or even embracing the joy of missing out (JOMO). It’s about changing your perspective.

Although in the moment you might feel socially excluded when you see an Instagram post of your best friend and his frat brothers, believe it or not, you have the magical power to decide whether you spend your day thinking about how lame you are because you’re not in a fraternity or move on with your lovely, simple Saddleback life.

Many people have yet to tap into this superpower of deciding how something affects your mood, but it is undoubtedly within all of us.

“After 10 seconds of feeling insecure or anxious, I remind myself that I don’t like any of those people anyway,” Nash explains. “So then I dance around my room and exhaust myself until I go to sleep.” I strongly encourage you to find what makes you lose the FOMO and attain the JOMO.