International students about FOMO

The fear of missing out on something memorable concerns a lot of students. Fortunately, that means you are not alone about it.

DECISIONS: The many opportunities can be overwhelming. FOTO: Aysina Maria.
Publisert Sist oppdatert

Posts on social media, viral parties and the next events from several student associations – there is always a lot to experience being a student in Bergen.

However, the huge offer of activities can create a feeling of overload, as it’s impossible to be two places at once – even though that would be a cool super power to have.

Combined with how accessible watching your friends having fun has become with social media, it’s easy to experience the fear of missing out (FOMO).

Studvest recently conducted  a non-scientific survey among international students in Bergen, asking if FOMO affects them.

Of the 100 respondents, 61 answered that they sometimes participate in an event just because they don’t want to feel excluded. 

In Addition, 57 participants stated to feel bad seeing friends on social media having fun without them.

Studvest met some students to talk about the phenomena.

It is all about balance

– I don‘t feel good sitting at home doing nothing while all the others are having fun.

Niklas Schuster from Germany is an exchange Student at the University of Bergen, and knows what it feels like to miss out on events.

– Seeing pictures of my friends I ask myself «Why am I not part of that certain event?» and «Why do I feel so bad?».

FRIENDS: Schuster sometimes feels bad seeing his friends having fun without him. PHOTO: Alva Christinsdatter Mitchell

His way to handle it is to find a balance.

Sometimes it is just better for me to do some sports or be on my own with my own thoughts. And on other days I enjoy my time with some friends.

– Just stay home you are tired

Florina Hofmann felt the same way a few years ago.

I would eventually lay in bed and cry because I saw on Instagram that they were doing something and didn’t even ask me to join.

Today, the political science student handles FOMO in a different way than she did in high school.

Now she has changed friend groups and feels more accepted for who she really is. That is why she is able to enjoy time on her own.

CHANGED STRATEGY: Hofmann now appreciates spending time on her own. PHOTO: Aysina Maria

– When I really listen to myself and my inner voice tells me «Just stay home, you are tired», that is something I can accept and appreciate.

In her opinion FOMO can even have a positive impact in small doses.

 – It pushes me to attend events that I would not have joined otherwise.

– Quality over quantity

Not all suffer from FOMO. Ben Aydemir has never experienced it and is willing to tell you his secret on how to avoid it.

I think the best strategy against FOMO is to create an environment where you can just be yourself, he recommends.

Especially the use of social media contributes, in his eyes, to the fact that many people feel the need to join events even though they don’t really want to. 

For this reason, Aydemir spends as little time as possible on social media. Instead, he wants to create valuable memories in the real world, following his life motto:

– Quality time over quantity time.

Got rid of FOMO
LUCKY ONE: Aydemir has never experienced FOMO. PHOTO: Alva Christinsdatter Mitchell

As an extreme athlete Felix Raupach is used to a full schedule. However, his friends regularly tell him to slow down a little. 

Before he felt like he had to do everything – all the time. This is why he used to struggle a lot with FOMO.

Last year I had the biggest FOMO for a longer period. I felt unhappy, even depressed.

Today he feels a lot better about it, and his fear of missing out is mostly gone. Recently he experiences that the openness around this topic has increased.

Society is getting more and more open towards mental issue topics and I try to contribute to that as well by giving this interview, Raupach says and smiles.

Above all, he recommends focusing on your own achievements rather than looking at what other people do:

– What you are doing is very good as well!

HAPPIER NOW: Raupach learned to focus on his own goals. PHOTO: Maria Aysina
Powered by Labrador CMS