Overcoming Predeparture FOMO

Annika Rader
May 19, 2022
FOMO: fear of missing out

In just a couple of days, I will be officially living and working in Milan. I can’t wait for the opportunity to travel the world, learn a new language, and intern for a fashion company in a fashion capital. Despite what that may sound like, there is also a lot of fear in going abroad. Fear of a new place, new people, everything that is unfamiliar. But honestly for me, those fears are not what scare me the most about being abroad. I know it will be an amazing experience, I know I will meet amazing people, and I know I will make memories that will last me my lifetime. The biggest thing that scares me about going abroad is something I think a lot of young adults deal with on a daily basis: FOMO.

FOMO, otherwise known as fear of missing out, has been my biggest obstacle when it comes to going abroad. While I may be having the time of my life this summer, ultimately I am doing that without some of my favorite people in the world and that can be a hard fact to cope with. I will miss a whole summer with my best friends, my brother’s high school graduation, and even the opportunity to celebrate my 21st birthday with my friends and family (turning 21 in Italy, kind of funny right?). My loved ones will spend the whole summer without me there and I without them. Yes, there is FaceTime and fun apps like BeReal to make sure we can keep up with each other, but sometimes it can be hard to convince myself that those will be able to replace spending the summer together. What I mean to say is that as fun and glamorous going abroad may seem like, it’s hard to be willing to give up your home to find a new one.

While that has been a large struggle for me for prepping for going abroad, it has caused me to have a different mentality in the past month or so. Rather than saying no for one reason or another, I’ve chosen to say yes to any opportunity that comes my way. I go out for dinner with friends rather than staying at home, I make plans with the people I’ll miss, I even drove 8 hours in two days just to see my brother run track. Memories like these are what I’ll look back on happily when I’m having those moments where I fear missing out. I think most often when people think of studying abroad, they think the “say yes to everything” mentality just begins once you reach your new home. In reality, I think saying yes to everything before you leave as well not only helps you get into this mindset, but also provides you with moments to remember with a smile. As cheesy as it sounds, cherish those moments with the people you love before you leave for abroad. If you’re anything like me, it will make leaving just a little less scary and remind you of what’s waiting for you when you return.

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Annika Rader

<p>Ciao! My name is Annika Rader (aw-nih-kuh if you're wondering how to say it) and I am a junior at University of Missouri Columbia. I study Textile and Apparel Management major (which is just a fancy way to say fashion) with a Business minor. I am a writing intensive TA for my department, which tells you my love for writing, and I also work in my university's historical clothing collection. I love to learn, I'm an avid reader, and I've never met a thrift shop I didn't like. I can't wait to merge my vintage and thrifted style into the chicness of Milan and document my experience through writing. I want to share the good, the bad, and the (hopefully very little) ugly of my time abroad and maybe inspire others to experience it too. Milan here I come!</p>

2022 Summer 1, 2022 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Missouri - Columbia
Cedar Rapids, IA
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