With college comes the stereotype that you are out partying. Especially when you’re in a sorority, all everyone thinks you do it party. Until they get to know you. And in my case, that’s when people start catching on that I don’t go out much. And I never had a problem with it. But other people always did.
When it came to it, not only was I being judged for “going out all the time” stereotype that sorority girls have, but I was also being judged for not going out enough. What?
I was the imperfect example of a college student. And it never bothered me. I always thought that if I can still hand out with my friends, be a part of a sorority and get good grades in my classes, then I have nothing to worry about. But I did.
It sucks being the person that people judge because you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. For me, going out was something I could do when everything was over so I didn’t have to worry about anything. Because isn’t the purpose of college to get a degree?
Needless to say, I’ve basically had to justify the fact that I was doing my own thing in college. And eventually, it did not matter what other people thought about my college experience. So what about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?
Well, at first I felt a bit left out because I was not going out and partying. A lot of people built their relationships on the sole fact that they were going out or drinking/partying. When I tried to get into these groups, it got hard because all of their grounds for being friends came from going out. Eventually, I did not even like seeing their posts about drinking or partying on my social media. I was even not invited to hang out sometimes because I didn’t party. I was super jealous and felt really lonely.
Eventually, I got over this. Because in the end, I was doing everything to make sure I was okay. I was sleeping right, going to my classes, and getting good grades. My time did not revolve on activities based of off partying or the consequences of going out. I started to enjoy seeing my friend have a good time on social media. I even found friends that totally were in line with my values and did not judge me for what I did or did not do.
That’s where JOMO comes in, which means “the Joy of Missing Out”. I heard this on a podcast recently and I thought this definitely applies to college. A lot of us experience FOMO (I still do from time to time) and we all tend to get really wrapped up in it. It sucks to feel left out or like you are missing something monumental. But the real change is when we can realize that missing out on one activity can allow us to do another thing.
Life is constantly about a trade-off. You do one thing and don’t do another and vice versa. Hopefully you’re making the right choices about what to do and what not to do. But either way, once you find the positive in what you did decide to do, nothing your missing out on seems so bad. It’s almost like your brain reminds you that this choice is going to help you.
So don’t be too hard on yourself. If you find yourself swimming upstream, keep going. You don’t have to be like everyone else in order for your college experience, or life experience, to be valid. If you can justify and confidently decide upon your actions, then you are not the problem.