Hijacked's guide to getting over FOMO

April 21, 2015
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Whether you like it or not, at some point in the semester you’re going to have to spend a weekend stuck at home studying. Because you spent the first 10 weeks skipping readings and lectures, you now need to cram the weekend before exams – and that will include a Saturday night.

Your friends are out getting slizzard at the house party you were desperate to attend, or tagging their ugly mugs in the club photos that are becoming so fetch on Facebook. But you’re stuck at home with the folks, simultaneously pretending to draft your final essay and watching cat videos.

Rest assured, it sounds a lot harder than it really is. We here at Hijacked have the best tips to get your cool on and avoid a dreaded case of FOMO.

Get egotistic

There’s nothing a cheeky dose of (healthy) egotism won’t fix. It’s helped many of us when we’re depleted by moments of self doubt and anxiety, thinking we’re a lousy student or that we’ll never have time to finish that damn essay. Take this attitude and apply it to FOMO: tell yourself you’re a bright, brilliant student who wants to get somewhere in life, so you need to spend a night at home. Your friends will all be washed up, but you’ll be the high flying exec thanks to those chilled Saturday nights in.

Block dem notifications

We all know you’re going to self destructively binge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram notifications on your Saturday night in, but don’t. Turn off those pesky social media notifications for the weekend and limit the time you spend on your computer. Instead, switch on the TV or your X-Box, or even pick up that book you discarded six months ago. By blocking the distractions of folks out partying, writing drunk statuses or posting those pesky club photos, you’re one step away from not worrying about that debilitating #FOMO. How can you miss out if you don’t know what you’ve missed? Simple.

Check yo’ happiness, boo

Take some stock on your Saturday night and remember that FOMO usually creeps up when you’re feeling low. Get out that writing pad and knock up a list of five things that make you happy, or that you’ve achieved by being studious. FOMO eats away at you when you’re filled with self-doubt – my friends go out without me and I’m a loser for staying in; I’m failing uni; I don’t know what I want out of life – and it’s better to fill this doubt with happy thoughts and feelings.

Externalise your FOMO angst

It’s been proven time and time again that exercise produces endorphins, so release that negative FOMO energy and do something physical. Go for a run around your neighbourhood (stay safe - take your phone!); try some stretches to relieve all that tension; or spend time spring cleaning your room. Physically distracting yourself from the angst will help you concentrate on something more meaningful than just wasting time checking what your mates are doing. Plus, you’ll be able to say you achieved something that weekend – if homework doesn't happen.

If all else fails, just put down the phone

The numero uno rule about combating FOMO is to control your online intake. Switch it off, put it away, and join the outside world. Chances are you’ll bump into someone going through the same thing.

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a Master of Journalism student at the University of Melbourne. His writing has been published in Salon, The Advocate and Overland.

Image: Nate Bolt, Flickr Creative Commons license