When I declared Public Health as my major, I requested to live in the health wing of my residence hall – a dorm space which housed students studying everything from pre-med, to health education, to pharmacology. It was in this extremely diverse wing that  I learned a ton just from having conversations with them about their particular motivations and goals. Parallel to our wing was the female health wing, with the majority of students studying nursing (at least during my time living in the residence hall).

Since it was our first year, many of us took the same health classes (more or less). So, we began studying together. Keep in mind that this was pre-social media days, so we still relied on texting or talking to each other in person. Sure, we had Facebook on campus two years after it was launched, but we never used it back then like we use it now. As the semester progressed, I found that I didn’t have to take the same course load that many of my hall mates were taking. Eventually, it got to the point where I didn’t have to study with them as much. Could I still chat with them? Of course! After all, I lived in the same building as them, but now we required matching schedules to make things happen.

This gave me my first experience of “FOMO” or “Fear of Missing Out.” When I was somewhere else, I wanted to know what the health study group was doing or what they were talking about. Plus, let’s be honest here, I wanted to hangout with the future nurses. It’s not like I couldn’t hangout with them otherwise, but I wanted the opportunity to do so.

So, how did I curb my FOMO? It was a process for sure, but I just put my head down and got to work. Eventually, I lost  that feeling and in return, I was able to create a new life outside of the health group. This is not to say that I had any sort of animosities with my hall mates – I absolutely loved them – we were just on different schedules and had different course loads.

College provides an endless stream of opportunities to participate in, and it’s in our nature to want to be apart of something great – to feel that our actions are warranted, With my experience in mind, my advice to you is – don’t stretch yourself too thin. Work on your craft and stick to it. You’ll see how far it will take you, and you’ll never have to experience that itchy feeling of FOMO again

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