9 Reflections about College Studenthood: Freshman Year Recap (Part 2 of 2)

Well… that was fast. I think now would be an appropriate time for me to put into words a lot of the things that I’ve learned and pondered about during my first year of college. I wonder if anybody finds these thoughts relatable?

  1. F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out) shouldn’t be reason enough to do things. FOMO’s a familiar feeling: the dreadful ache that makes boredom and loneliness that much more agonizing, and tempts me to do things I’d rather not do. Naturally, FOMO was that uninvited guest that occasionally crept up on me on those Friday and Saturday nights where I chose to stay in my dorm. Though I always enjoyed chilling in the room for tea and conversation with my roommate, the rollicking commotion outside our window during those nights weren’t always easy to ignore. I’d get passing thoughts that made me wonder if I was doing this “college experience” thing right, and if I really understood the meaning of fun, since our usual evenings of comfortable silences and chats about the simple pleasures in life didn’t seem as thrilling as whatever those people outside would be shrieking and laughing about. FOMO also happened with big campus-wide events, including a massively-hyped speech on campus by David Cameron, and the famed Spring Weekend. On both occasions, I admit that I got FOMO’ed into buying tickets. It was like seeing a mosh pit of people fighting over some items on Black Friday, and me deciding to thrust myself into that pile of bodies to grab one for myself, without even pausing to see what those items really are. Though both experiences turned out to be pretty pleasant in the end, it didn’t sit well with me realizing that I’ve just mindlessly made the time and money commitments to do something just out of a blind urge to leap onto a bandwagon. Coming out of this, I’ve vowed not to let FOMO get the better of me in my future decision making. I’ve decided that of all the reasons and motivations I have for doing things in the future, FOMO could make an appearance on the T-chart, but I won’t give it any standalone legitimacy or place it above my own real wants. Easier said than done, but I think this’ll serve me well and give me a stronger sense of agency.

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Gloria Feng

Writer, Cog-Neuro Research Assistant @ Yale. Presenting my thoughts about self-development and life as a former college student || gloriawfeng.com