FOMO and the College Experience

There’s a current dysfunction in our society called FOMO—fear of missing out. Technology and social media have made FOMO such an epidemic that it’s now an actual word in the dictionary. And it has redefined how Millennials experience college (and life, in general).

[Explore FOMO in depth: view my Storify]

You come home exhausted from a long day, and you’re more than happy to stay in. You convince yourself that you’re 100% content with a night in alone—until you open your Instagram feed, or see your best friends drinking wine together in a Snapchat story. Even when you try to avoid checking social media, your friends can still find a way to reach you.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.30.09 PM

Actual screen shot from my iPhone.

Suddenly, the thought of staying in on a Friday night seems more depressing than it does relaxing.

Dead week, finals, and fomo

Dead week is upon us, and we’re trying to soak up as much ‘college’ as possible before heading home for the holidays. Final exams and project deadlines are coming up, but they’re often pushed aside until the last possible minute. It happens every semester, no matter how many times we tell ourselves we’re NEVER procrastinating again.

FOMO has made the pressure to study this week even more difficult. Friends are still going out, but you have a 7:30 a.m. final on Monday — it’s a constant struggle.

University of Iowa students share their experiences with FOMO in the midst of dead week and final deadlines. Watch below:

FOMO: Does it get better?

Listen to my chat with Andrew Nguyen, a graduate student at the University of Texas pursuing a degree in economics and Kim Hinkle, a successful entrepreneur and University of Iowa alum. They put FOMO into perspective and talk about life after college.

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