Socialising and ‘FOMO’ at university
September has started, meaning only one thing – the start of university for many of you! And the start of university means another thing- freshers week! As only a year ago I was in the same position, I thought I’d use this blog to talk about some things related to socialising at university that, in my opinion, aren’t talked about enough.
Now, the whole social experience at university is undoubtedly great! Cheap bars, a chance to meet new friends and strengthen bonds with current ones- the list goes on! But in every new student’s experience, there will come the first time (and many after that) that you don’t feel like going out which can lead to a tricky predicament- do you go out and smile through it, when in reality you’ve got work to be getting on with/ sleep to be having or do you simply say no, but then be filled with regret, or ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) when you go on social media and notice how much fun your friends are having without you?
I definitely experienced FOMO from time to time. When you’ve just started to make some good friends, then don’t go out socialising with them, it’s natural to worry about what they’ll think of you. The truth is, it really is not worth worrying about this. Real friends will stay your friends regardless of whether you’re always out with them or not. Everyone has different schedules that they need to work around as students, and everyone should respect this. When you start to get that dreaded feeling of FOMO, the best thing to do is put yourself in their shoes. If you were out having fun, and one friend didn’t come, would you think of them as any less of a friend? Of course not! Try to think rationally, as you’ll realise that missing a night out really isn’t a big deal.
It’s also important to note that the student body at university is a huge mixture of every kind of person, so it’s clear that not everyone is going to have the exact same idea of ‘fun’ and will want to do different things from time to time. Some love clubbing, some dread the idea and would prefer a quieter pub, some love both, some love neither! I found that everyone appreciated this fact, so it wasn’t a case of being a ‘bad friend’ when you didn’t always choose to socialise!
The answer, put simply, is to do what YOU, nobody else, wants to do and to NOT feel bad about it. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds nice, but unrealistic. I thought that too, well at least at the start of the year. When people wanted to go out and I wasn’t feeling up to it, I used to think that I needed to come up with an excuse because ‘I’m not feeling up to it’ didn’t seem acceptable! Throughout the year, however, I came to realise that nobody is going to hold anything against you for not coming out, and if they do, are they really people you want to be hanging out with anyway?