Friday, 3 February 2017

Dealing with FOMO.

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while because let's face it, I'm the girl who once went home after a night out only to go back out because I got such bad FOMO I thought I might miss something at the end of the night. When I was really little after I had been put to bed I would sometimes sit at the top of the stairs just in case something exciting happened without me. So I feel like I'm pretty qualified on this topic. For those of you who don't know (mainly explaining this for my grandparents because I know they love and read my blog all the time) but FOMO is the fear of missing out. The fear of what might happen while you are not there, or that you aren't spending your time in the most productive or self fulfilling way.

When I was deciding whether or not I wanted to do a year abroad, I'm actually ashamed to admit that FOMO actually caused me to hesitate and I nearly passed up on the incredible opportunity and amazing experiences which I am currently enjoying. I was terrified of missing a whole year of university, nervous as to what would happen to my friends while I was gone, a bit scared that I would spend the whole year replaying snapchats continuously, sitting at home miserable. Thinking back now I am actually a little bit embarrassed at how I managed to let the fear of what might happen overshadow the excitement of what might happen. Notice that both of them are "might happens", I didn't know that I was going to come to Germany and have the experiences I have had but FOMO nearly stopped me.

I think my problem is that until I came away to Germany, although I would say I was pretty independent and definitely had my own opinions and was self sufficient, I spent a lot of time with my friends and sometimes struggled to fill my time if I was on my own. I loved the company of others so much I guess I sometimes felt that if I was alone there were so much better ways I could be spending my time. I wasn't very chill. I always had to be doing something.

Being alone in Germany has really forced me to take control of this though and I am slowly but surely growing to love my own company. Right now for example, I had an hours break between lessons so have come to a coffee shop to enjoy a nice Cappuccino and to write some blog posts. Sure, my friends might be together at home having fun and laughing about something from a night out at the weekend, and yeah my family might have just finished eating breakfast together but that's life. Life goes on without you. But so it should.

So many of my friends and even acquaintances that I really don't know that well have all told me how jealous they are that I seem to be having the most incredible time. I know I am so lucky to be able to travel as much as I have and even just had the opportunity to improve my German language skills by speaking to real Germans is so wonderful and I am beyond grateful. It's strange to think that while people are envious of what I am doing, sometimes I am sitting feeling envious of them!

I think where I am going with this is, that there is absolutely no point in doing something you don't want to in case you miss out on something else, or doing something you do want to do yet feel guilty about what you are leaving behind. We don't need self validation from others that we are spending our time in the most fulfilling way, what might be the most exciting thing to one person might be mundane and totally uninteresting to you, which is absolutely fine. Do things for you.

So if you are thinking about doing a year abroad one day or want to go away and travel or whatever you want to do, please never let FOMO hold you back. Because things will more than likely just be the same when you do get back and you're going to be the one that's changed.

Remember this next time you are deciding whether or not to go to that thing you've been invited to and aren't really that fussed on going, or next time you see all your friends click attending to the same Facebook event so you do to so as not to feel left out!


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