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Fighting the FOMO

Ciara O’Donoghue

It’s Wednesday night. You have a massive assignment due for the next morning, which you haven’t even started. Not only is it two-for-one tonight, but it is also your friend’s 21st birthday. You take a moment to contemplate your life.

Sometimes you just have to say no.

As the Snapchats start flooding your phone, it becomes difficult to concentrate; your tongue goes dry, feet tap uncontrollably. The struggle is real, but Activate always has your back. Here’s how to fight the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when you’re forced to stay behind.

Acknowledge and accept: The first step to overcoming FOMO is simply recognising it. Accept that you will have to stay strong and deal with your fear, but find comfort in knowing that it will be worth it in the end. No one wakes up the next morning thinking “man, I wish I hadn’t finished that whole assignment.”

Plan your time and be prepared: Know in advance that you will not be able to go out and create a list of all the things you want to accomplish while staying in. This will keep you focused, and will stop you from convincing yourself that if you arrive home at 4:00am, you would still have a whole four hours to finish your essay and hand it in. Just, no.

Be honest: Ask yourself – do you really want to be out right now? Sometimes we persuade ourselves to do something just because we know that someone else is doing it, and they might be having more fun than us. If you don’t go, are you really missing out on something, or would it just be exactly the same as every other night? Grahamstown doesn’t have that much room for adventure.

Put. The phone. Away: FOMO is not a new concept, but like most things, as soon as you make it a catchy acronym and give it a hash tag, it spreads like wild fire. Social media has multiplied and intensified the fear of missing out. When you see pictures on Instagram of your friends having a ‘profoundly transcendent’ time, it’s probably not as fun as it looks. Rather save yourself the pain and put the phone away.

Focus on the goal: The only way to keep your mind off the party is to keep it on something else. Try to remain as focused on your assignment as possible, and think of how good it’s going to feel when it is complete. Don’t waste your time pining.

Remember: there will always be another Wednesday, but there is only one DP.

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