The Struggle Is Real: The Horrible & Emotional Stages Of FOMO

To stay in or go out? It’s the question that most college students ask themselves daily, and it’s a decision that’s a lot harder than it should be. Sometimes you just need a night of binge eating ice cream while crying over One Tree Hill.

If you are like me, however, when you do take this rare night off from your party girl lifestyle, you immediately go into a state of panic. You are supposed to be relaxing but the only thing you can think about is the party you aren’t at. This is known as FOMO, or the fear of missing out. And yes, it’s a very real feeling.

As someone who has experienced this horrible feeling a few times, these are the stages of  FOMO that happen when you stay in.

Stage 1: Happiness

Fear Of Missing Out

You’ve spent a million hours deciding that you were going to stay in and you’re actually feeling happy about your decision. All of your roommates are out so you have the apartment to yourself, you are in comfortable clothes, and you wont wake up in the morning feeling and looking like you got punched in the face.

Stage 2: Relaxation


Now it’s time to relax. You put on your favorite movie, throw on a face mask, and eat everything that’s in sight. Your only thought at the moment is that life is good!

Stage 3: Questioning

Relaxation fomo

You start getting bored of watching The Notebook because lets be honest, you have seen it 100 times and it’s only making you feel lonely and pathetic. You go on your phone to kill some time and see Instagram photos and Snapchat stories of your friends who are out. You immediately start to question your decision to stay in. You think: “Should I have gone out? No, I was right to stay in, wasn’t I?”

Stage 4: Panic

fomo panic

You now start to panic. You think it is going to be an un-forgettable night out and contemplate showing up to the party in the pajamas you are currently wearing. To make your life even worse, your friends are probably texting you telling you how much fun they are having and you basically just want to die. Your mind went from 0 to 100 real quick.

Stage 5: Getting Defensive

defensive fomo

At this point you are in a state of shock and you start to feel angry and aggressive. You are sick of these so-called friends worsening your already horrible FOMO. You try to tell yourself that you wouldn’t be caught dead in that place anyway, but you’re only lying to yourself.

Stage 6: Sadness

sadness Fear Of Missing Out

How could you be so stupid? You really regret not going out and want to drown yourself in your tears. You think about the inside jokes you won’t be apart of, the photos you won’t have to Instagram, and all the boys you didn’t get the chance to flirt with. Looks like you’ll be crying yourself to sleep tonight.

Stage 7: Waking Up

Fear Of Missing Out

When you wake up, you are well rested. You aren’t begging your roommates to bring you water and Advil and you aren’t stumbling into your apartment in your outfit from last night. Maybe you did make a good choice by staying in. Before you get out of bed, you check your phone again and see more photos and snapchats from the night before. That’s when it hits again, staying in was dumb. You should have been out with your friends and not in bed at 9:00. You can only hope that next time you will remember, you are 20 years old not 80.

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