‘FOMO’ syndrome runs rampant among freshmen

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It’s a well-known fact that finding balance between work and social activities in college life is difficult. The fear of making the wrong choices and missing out on something has always been around, but now it has a new name.

FOMO, or the “Fear of Missing Out,” is the pressure one feels when they worry that if they do not participate in any given social event, life-changing memories will be made without them.

Nobody likes to miss a good time or feel left out, so FOMO is rampant among college students but especially among freshmen, who are just beginning to realize the struggle between balancing their school and social lives. One could argue that the abundance of social media, which captures only the highlights, makes it seem like someone is always having more fun oneself.

“It’s kind of rough to find a balance,” said freshman KayAnn Rex, an undecided major from Orem. “There are so many things to do. I usually do homework late at night because I’m out doing stuff.”

Finding the balance between work and play can be difficult. "FOMO" can be especially rampant among freshmen who are just beginning to figure out college life.  Photo by Ari Davis
Finding the balance between work and play can be difficult. “FOMO” can be especially rampant among freshmen who are just beginning to figure out college life.
(Photo by Ari Davis)

Rex added that she tries to prioritize the most important things, but it becomes hard when other more exciting things also become a priority.

Freshman Cole Witbeck, an undecided major from Las Vegas, also tries to find balance by getting his homework done first so he has time for other things that he enjoys like fulfilling his church calling and participating in an improv comedy troupe.

Eric Fletcher, a freshman physics major from Seattle, finds that good friends help him stay on track with getting work done.

“I have a few good friends who always do their homework first too,” he said. “That makes it easier.”

Freshmen have many resources available to help them make the most of their first year at BYU, including Academic Advisement and Freshman Mentoring.

“It’s important to find a balance between not missing out and doing well in school,” said freshmen mentor Ben Coburn, a junior business major from Springboro, Ohio. “It’s my job to do everything I can to make sure they have a successful year.”

Freshman year may be a breeding ground for FOMO, but it by no means goes away once students move on from the freshman life. Every college student goes through trying to pick and choose, but the fear of missing something great always lingers.

“With so many social opportunities surrounding, it’s hard to know which things to skip to avoid major missing out,” said Kathryn Christensen, a sophomore linguistics major from Tremonton, Utah. “Make sure that you are getting the essentials done first, then fill that extra time to the brim with exciting memories. This year will never happen again, so don’t study it away, but also don’t play it away.”

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