fear of missing out

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a ‘fear of missing out’. We don’t like to miss one social gathering because we are afraid that we’ll be excluded in the future. We stay up late – doing a bunch of irrelevant things just to stay up to date.

We browse Facebook relentlessly. We don’t want to miss a gossip, or a not-so-important news update from an acquaintance we haven’t seen for ten years.

I have a fear of missing out too, and I recently realised that it’s also applicable to my studies.

Here’s the thing: I’m not really a last-minute student. On average, I finish my assignments one or two days before and I will do final editings from one day before the submission date up until one hour before the submission portal closed.

You know, who knows what epiphany will strike on those last several hours (which never actually happened before). Who knows I’ll suddenly get a lightning-bulb moment and do a significant edit on my assignment.

Which is crazy. Those two days of ‘final editings’ might not really improve my grade significantly in any way. In fact, they just make me paranoid and second-guessing myself for every two hours.

Still, I do that. Even when in my Master’s. (Or should I say, especially now when I’m in Master’s).

Sometimes, I feel like I need to stop feeling that I’ll miss out on things. Life will still be good – it will be okay. The times I spend in agony and stress can be freed up to be used in doing something more useful – only if I free the spot.

And that’s just for studies. what about the other parts of life?

Too many times we hang on to bad decisions because we fear that we’ll miss out if suddenly things go well. Too many times we stay waiting on a red light that takes forever to turn green while we should have walked and crossed the next red light instead.

Too many times we stay, we stop, we let ourselves be trapped in a certain bad situation because we fear that if we just wait a little longer, it might actually go well.

Well, perhaps it wouldn’t.

So instead of using #FOMO, I think I have a better motto: que sera, sera.

Don’t wait just because you are afraid to miss a chance that might not ever going to come. Don’t do something just because you are afraid you’ll miss out otherwise.

Do something, not just because.

Photo by Ben Seidelman, Creative Commons