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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3 ways to make the most of Thanksgiving break

It’s no surprise how fast Thanksgiving break flies by. It’s tempting to hibernate on the living room couch during this precious week off from class. But, every time I return to campus after break, I realize I shouldn’t have spent the ENTIRE week doing nothing.

Thanksgiving break is obviously a time to be grateful for family, friends, and food. It’s a time to unwind and leave the stress behind for a week. However, it’s always a good idea to utilize the free time you have during break to your advantage — here are 3 ways to make the most of it.

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5 things you need to survive a library study binge

Like many college students, I’m no stranger to the long days that turn into nights at the library. My workload only seems to be growing with demanding classes, law school preparation, and internship responsibilities; finding myself at the library (or journalism building) for 15 hours straight is completely normal.

It’s not easy to stay in one place for hours at a time and maintain focus. Here are some materials you should pack on your next library binge that’ll help prevent you from finding excuses to leave early.

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how to take lecture notes in college

[View the full story here: “How to take lecture notes in college”]

Summary: Sometimes, you’re be blessed with that saint of an instructor who posts all the notes online, along with a YouTube video of the actual lecture (you know, just in case you happen to miss class one time). Other times, you’re stuck with a super old-school professor who doesn’t believe in technology or PowerPoint Presentations, and stands in front of the auditorium and just talks.

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the college student’s guide to a productive day

Unlike a full-time, 9-5 job, a college student’s schedule is generally broken up with a few classes per day — meaning, there’s no obligation to stay in a certain place and work for eight hours. Unless students set up their courses to run back-to-back, many undergrads find themselves with at least an hour to kill before their next class. While the extra time between responsibilities seems great, it can also be a curse on productivity.

When you have a full schedule and an overloaded to-do list, take advantage of the breaks between class to get things done. There are plenty of ways to stay focused and productive during the week — here are some of my go-to strategies to keep myself on track every day.

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