A weekend trip with friends to make new memories is a great way to de-stress and have a fantastic time. But, what happens when you have to cancel these plans? You may be planning on attending a movie and dinner with friends, only to find out that you have an assignment for work or school to finish. How do you feel? It feels awful and we all have gone through it at some point of time in our lives.

In these four months of my college life I have experienced the fear of missing out almost on a daily basis. I always feel left out when my friends go out for parties and I am stuck in my room either finishing my assignments or attending the ever tiring ACCA classes. My luck is so bad that a good weekend plan always comes up when I am back home visiting my grandparents, because of which all I can do is sit on my bed and go through the Instagram stories of my friends and feel content with tags such as #majormissing.

FOMO is an epidemic among millennials. It’s easy to define our lives based on the virtual crowd watching, critiquing and applauding our every move. It’s even easier to conform to the crowd’s mould — constantly measuring our lives against a celebrity’s Instagram post or a friend’s life event. This ‘give me more’ and ‘I want that’ attitude can be detrimental to us both physically and mentally. FOMO certainly instils anxiety and depression, but, we need to push back against framing this ‘fear of missing out’.

Jealousy stems from all the fun you think they had, your friends might have enjoyed their meal or it might have been pathetic and also costed them an arm and leg. But don’t beat yourself up over what you think happens when you’re not around. Try to focus on yourself and making the best of your situation. Remember, the best company you ever have is yourself. You need to believe in yourself and all that you are. Knowing that you have the power inside yourself always to be happy and have a good time, is the key to overcoming FOMO.

Sometimes, not taking up the group invite for a night out is the best thing you can do. Real happiness comes from within. It’s not your things or other people — it’s you. Being still and taking in everything around you is also important. Don’t take for granted the life you have. Instead, observe and express gratitude for the roof over your head and the food in the fridge. Attaching your happiness to others and things will ultimately bring you down. If you should have a fear of missing out, it should be about missing out on your own life, not what others are doing. Look within. Be still and introspect. Free from fear and attachment. Know the sweet joy of the journey.