Wouldn’t it be so cool if none of us cared about being cool? Unfortunately, we all do. And this week, we address two questions that show how too many of us are feeling guilty about not feeling “alive.”
“I’m going through a rough time at the moment. I just started my junior year in college, and I just feel super lame. I don’t have a lot of friends, I don’t party a lot, and I don’t live out on campus, I stay with my parents. I feel like I’m missing the ” college experience” and just like a loser in general. How do I get out of my rut?”
What would make you feel cool? What do you see other people doing that inspires you? Not what makes you envious or what makes you feel like you’re doing something wrong, but what you actually admire. Do you think it’s cool how some kids get so into activism? Or how someone went from couch to marathon? We beat ourselves up repeatedly over what we’re supposed to be that we forget to consider what we want to be.
Make a list of the things that you’d like to do in life, whether that be see the Eiffel Tower, learn to make fresh pasta, do a triathalon, have your own PR company, whatever it is, and then look at the options available to you on campus that might be stepping stones. Join them, be awkward in the back until you’re confident enough to raise your hand. Blog about the subject privately until you want to make it public. Reach out to other people on the Internet with your interests to get their insight. Build a community around what you want to be, rather than who you’re supposed to be. And revel in the free rent, because the best is yet to come… and I would know; I’m 27 and the braver you are, the better it gets.
“Is there some mythical magical way you can share with us on how we get over FOMO?”
Oh how grand life is through rose-colored glasses, which was, if I’m not mistaken, the original name for Facebook, or tumblr, or Instagram. The fear of missing out, hereby known as FOMO, is fueled by illusions. Look through your own photos. Look through your photos and ask yourself if the wattage of your smile was actually in direct correlation to how much fun you were having. And then be sure to ask yourself, what are you afraid of missing? Meeting a celebrity who doesn’t want to date you? Paying $9 for a beer? One or two inside jokes your friends will reference for a month? Some dancing? Some laughs? You miss some things so you can experience others, like health and success and the enjoyment of your own company. How many times did you rally just to have a typical night? To get home at 1 am and eat pizza in bed?
So how do you get over FOMO? Well, how do you get over any fear? Acknowledgment and exposure. Stay home for a weekend and see if it ruins your life. Turn off the computer, turn on some classic blues, eat macaroni and cheese out of the pot, and lay on the floor with a sudoku book and see if in a week, you feel bad about missing Saturday night at the bars. You might not meet the love of your life that night, but you sure won’t meet the opposite.