FOMO - noun. fear of missing out. Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. "Even though he was exhausted, John's fomo got the best of him and he went to the party."
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term FOMO (sometimes referred to as #FOMO), above is a (Urban) Dictionary definition of the term that has become extremely prevalent in society today. For the past couple days I have been suffering a bit from this terrible condition. I have scrolled through various social media platforms and have seen pictures of friends at (American) football games, festive get togethers, and incredible events (most recently Bill Nye's lecture at Penn State) that have made me miss home. Sure, everyone feels a bit homesick every once in a while--whether it's for a warm, homecooked meal, for a snuggle with your furry friend at home, or for your favorite stuffed animal that you had to leave behind, it's something that we all go through. Although I enjoyed FaceTiming my friends and family last week, I still felt as though I was missing out on events happening back at home. That was until I took a trip this weekend that put my FOMO into perspective...
On Friday I boarded a plane to the beautiful city of Prague to visit one of my friends from college who is living there and teaching English! After a huge hug and a quick catch up on each others lives abroad, we explored the city and all of the beautiful things that it had to offer. We roamed around the Old Town Square and watched the Prague Astronomical Clock chime, toured the Prague Castle (according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it's the largest coherent castle complex in the world with an area of almost 70,000 square meters), and ate tons of delicious Trdelnik (this is a seriously addicting, delicious traditional Slovak pastry that's made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and cinnamon). Although part of the reason that we had such an amazing time was because Prague is a gorgeous city with so many incredible sights to see, just the fact that we were together experiencing it all made it even better and gave me the feeling that there was a little piece of home in Prague even though it's thousands of miles away!
After an awesome 3 days in Eastern Europe, I sat on the plane headed back to England and started to think about my FOMO...why was I feeling this way? Sure I miss cheering in the student section of Beaver Stadium, singing with my a cappella group at school, and eating Thanksgiving dinner with all of my family but if I spend my time thinking about all of the things that I miss at home, I'm going to miss out on all of the incredible things happening around me.
So instead of letting FOMO get me down...I'm going to do the unthinkable and use my FOMO for good. I'm going to let it inspire me to go out and experience everything that London has to offer while I still have the time so that there is nothing to MO on!
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<p>Natalie Walden is a Junior at Penn State University, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in International Studies and Vocal Performance. On any given day, you can find her around campus singing with her a cappella group or drinking Jamba Juice at one of the HUB tables. She is a brother of Phi Sigma Pi honors fraternity and one of the THON chairs of the Oriana Singers and Glee Club THON organization. Her talents include impersonating Britney Spears/Shakira and binge watching shows on Netflix (which she will not be doing much of while abroad...). Natalie has never been to Europe before and can't wait to share all of her amazing adventures across the pond!</p>