This weekend I had the biggest case of FOMO that I think I have ever had in my life. Seeing social media posts of everyone having fun at parties and getting ready for class was so difficult. I had a minor melt down and the insane desire to not study abroad for the semester set in. All I wanted to do was to hop on a flight back to Boston and start class with all of my friends. Yesterday was the first day of class for all of my friends at my college. Yesterday I was still home in Chicago, I ran errands, and did a little shopping.
I leave to go abroad in one week and my level of excitement is on a definite rollercoaster. One minute I cannot wait before I'm living my life and taking classes in another country. The next minute I get major anxiety about going to another country where I don't know anyone, where I'm away from all my friends at school who are only growing closer while I'm gone, and I'm away from my family with limited communication. I know once I get to Scotland I will forget all my fears and anxiety but I know my FOMO will only grow stronger.
I have always been one of those people who gets extremely self conscious when she sees people hanging out together and she wasn't invited. Now I know while I'm abroad there was an obvious reason why I wasn't invited but it still hurts. So many questions pass through my mind: Do they even realize I'm not there? Do they miss me? What would we be doing if I was there? What happens when I get back? Will I feel like I'm missing the jokes and not feel included anymore?
While these thoughts are continuously plaguing me I am trying to stay focused on all the small errands I have to finish and how much fun I am going to have while I'm abroad. In the meantime I've been trying to think of different ways to help alleviate my insane FOMO and so far the biggest thing I have come up with is to stop relying on social media. I think when I go abroad I am going to delete my Snapchat and use Facebook way less. There is no way I could ever put down Instagram but I think the other two are definitely doable. While it will feel weird to miss out on the funny snaps and all the photos, I think it will be all for the better.
Its crazy to me how social media is such a strong player in all of our lives. People always say Facebook is genius because it lets you stay close with people you might have lost touch with along the way. But maybe it lets you start a little too close. I don't really care what that gorgeous girl in my Psych 101 class did last weekend yet I feel the desperate need to stalk all of her photos. I am hoping that when I go abroad, I can immerse myself more into the Scottish culture. I will enjoy my time more with the new people I meet instead of worrying so much about what is happening back home.
If any of you have gone abroad, how did you deal with FOMO?