I never thought that I would experience FOMO, fear of missing out. I never thought I would experience that emotion because I associated it with people who lacked confidence and a sense of direction. So when I started to see the signs, I freaked out. I was scared of having those emotions for two reasons, number one, it would mean that I lacked confidence, and number two it could lead me to make regrettable decisions. In the end, none of them were true, maybe I know this because I am arrogant enough to know I’m confident and humble enough to know I have FOMO. This is a very scary emotion to deal with, but I am not alone, I know my confidence comes from God alone, and I know how to make logical decisions.
But this does not mean I no longer fear missing out: I fear going back home and realizing I did not do enough, I fear not making meaningful relationships, I fear not exploring enough places, I fear leaving a bad impression on my professors, and most importantly, I fear missing opportunities. The latter is the one that triggers my anxiety the most. There are so many things to do here in Taiwan, so many people to meet, so many places to visit, and so much to learn. It freaks me out to think I would miss out on such opportunities.
Nevertheless, I am at peace because of my Lord. I realize that not every opportunity is an opportunity meant for me! Isn’t it crazy? I want to say that again because I think it is so important: not everything good is worth pursuing, just because you can does not mean you have to, and not every opportunity is for you. I think it is important to remember to do everything you do with love, dedication, and a strong character. You don’t have to do as “much” as you can, and you don’t have to do everything, you just have to do well. Analyze your fears, which ones are logical and actually worth worrying about. Then you will know that not everything must be taken seriously. That’s what I’ve learned thus far.
Oftentimes, we blame social media for comparing ourselves to others and putting pressure on ourselves to do crazy things. In my case, this is very interesting, I do not have major social media accounts (mainly Youtube–I love Youtube). So where does my idea of missing out come from? It comes from my own expectations. As someone with big ambitions and dreams, I wanted to do it all. And not doing so would mean I was not successful in my study abroad experience. But, studying abroad is not an exam? I won’t fail for not doing everything.
This is what I have realized, I’m not being graded on studying abroad. This is my unique experience, my life. While it would be amazing to do many great things in this beautiful country, it is okay to not make everything in my experience sound like it should be in a resume. I am glad to continue to learn about what is worth pursuing and what is worth letting go of.