I apologize for my brief hiatus from the blogosphere, but fear not – I have returned. I know you probably are all wondering just what I was doing for the past sixteen days; perhaps you had a bit of F.O.M.O…a Fear Of Missing Out? Well, whether you did or not, developing F.O.M.O. is exactly what I’m going to be blogging about today.
F.O.M.O. [ F(ear) O(f) M(issing) O(ut)] (Foh-mo) noun
The condition in which one who is separated from a group of people or a large scale event experiences fear, discomfort, and utter depression due to the misfortune of being unable to partake in events and activities with said group or at said event and understanding this means you will be missing something amazing. May lead to irrational and rash decisions such as last-minute flight bookings, over-drinking, or spontaneous outbursts of hysterical tears at your desk.
I have experienced, and believe I will continue to experience, the worst post-graduate F.O.M.O. symptoms thus far this month. Why? Simply because the month of March for the past few years of my life was always unreal. The bomb diggity. March was…well, Madness, if I may. There was always so much going on, the weather was getting nicer, people would visit and it was essentially a 31-day-long party in my house at school.
First and foremost, as you know from my last post, March to me means Spring Break. It means Las Vegas. It means the Bahamas. It means getting tan and drinking on the beach and dancing all night long and laughing and meeting new people and making questionable decisions that I never really needed to answer for. I just feel like I became the best version of myself on Spring Break. And by the best I mean worst…but it certainly felt like the best. The words “Spring Break” evoke feelings of freedom and excitement and spontaneity… and I’m watching undergrads experience all of it through this cursed channel we call Facebook. I see them prancing around in heels, all sunkissed and smiling, margaritas in hand. And I fear, I do, that I am…missing out. Which I am. Because I’m sitting at a desk doing much less prancing than I was last year down Las Vegas Boulevard, and I’m NOT happy about it!!!!
This post falls at a very significant time, between two specific weekends which have made my F.O.M.O. much harder for me to deal with – smack dab in the middle of the two weekends of Ultra Music Festival. And goddammit, do people post a lot of pictures/videos of Ultra! (Did I post that many? If so, I’m sorry.) I even get video Snapchats from friends featuring 10-second teasers of the awesome sets I know they’re watching. And I’ll be honest…that’s just evil. And before I go to sleep each night, I whisper all their names to myself in a sort of corrupt prayer like Arya from Game of Thrones hoping all the power in Miami goes out or someone gets a bad case of Scarlet Fever and can’t get to UMF next weekend. It’s not my fault. It’s a side effect of F.O.M.O.
Plus, on top of it all, the changing of the seasons makes me miss last year. Today is officially the first day of Spring (although in NYC it doesn’t really feel like it), and with the Spring comes so many things I want to be doing. I want to be going to baseball games or going to the park or going on boats and outdoor bars or at least wearing flip flops and the worst part of all of it is that other people are. People live in warmer places or are successfully “funemployed” or are still lucky enough to be in school and they are doing all these things…and I am missing out on them.
As post-grads and entry-level employees, this feeling was bound to hit us eventually. It’s a trapping feeling, a sadness; it’s like all you want is for your best friend to drive up to your bedroom window in a flying car and rescue you during the lowest point of your F.O.M.O. and whisk you away.
But that kind of magic doesn’t apply to most of us, unfortunately. And so we need to find other ways to deal with F.O.M.O. And here is my best advice as to how to get throw these months that we spend playing in traffic while others are playing…everywhere else.
1. Make yourself a short-term bucket list.
Whether it’s a “Spring Bucket List” or “Things To Do In March” document, compile some kind of list of fun things you can do to keep busy. My friends and I have a Google Doc that we’re constantly adding things to so we can try new and exciting places and activities all the time. Definitely helps prevent F.O.M.O. as you’ll be too busy having fun to think about all the better things other people are doing.
2. Stay off social media.
Easier said than done, I know, especially when many of our jobs allow us some prime Facebooking after lunch or ample time to browse our Twitter feeds during the morning commutes. But try to not go through every “SPRiNG BR3AK 20!3” album that gets posted. It’ll only make you feel sad. And fat. And pale. Also, don’t backstalk yourself and remind yourself of all the fun you were having when you were still in college. That’s even worse, because hating past-you is always harder than hating present-anyone-else.
3. Make one really stupid college-kid decision.
Simply so that when you hear some kids telling a story about all the wild and crazy stuff they did over break, you can have one reference you can drop. “Well, don’t worry, we still rage too. Like, you’ll never believe what I did last weekend….” (Insert my behavior over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Yep.)
4. Then counteract it and do something post-grad-esque and mature.
You’ll feel pretty dumb after your #3 stupid decision, so then do something very post-grad of you. Like trying out this new fancy wine bar or buying yourself a nice new blazer. Remind yourself that being a post-grad is fun, too! You’re not funneling beers on a beach, this is true. But the YoPros go cray for a sexy young thang hitting up Happy Hour in a sleek black blazer…who could pay for her her own drinks, but he’s gonna buy yours anyway. And it’s not gonna be a Natty Light, either. It’ll be a Blue Moon. Classssssssssy.
5. Last but not least, remember that F.O.M.O. is a temporary condition.
And that if you actually went to every party, every concert, every bar, and on every trip that you thought you would “miss out on” by not attending, you would be broke, exhausted, and probably have a horrible immune system. Breathe and relax and take comfort in knowing that you will 100% have a chance to go to some event or take some trip or see some show sometime soon that other people are totally going to miss out on. And you can brag about it all you want.
Keep your head up during these undergrad F.O.M.O. moments, post-grads. While it may be hard, there are bright, shining, wonderful future experiences for those 23 and older somewhere out there waiting for us.