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Social media enables us to do some beautiful things. However, it also creates a less-than-ideal one-stop shop for FOMO (fear of missing out). The grass is always greener on the other side, right? Only sometimes! Join me as I recount my experience of combatting FOMO head-on and remaining fulfilled in how I decided to spend my summer vacation.  

Between seeing my peers studying abroad, getting internships, and overall looking like they were having a better time than me, I knew I wanted to spend this summer as I had never before. This meant not spending another summer vacation at my parents’ house. I have nothing against my family, but I wanted some more independence. To fulfill my wish, I knew my parents would only agree if I had a job lined up. So, I began my search! 

It’s all too easy to make plans for your future. If you’re like me, you survive by doing this. So much so you might get too hung up on planning that you neglect the here and now. I’m certainly guilty of forgetting to live with a present mindset between short-term and long-term plans. 

Throughout this process of finding something productive to occupy my time, I often asked myself, “How can I silence my doubt that I’m not doing enough?” One method I used was a simple pros and cons list. Using this to weigh potential benefits and outcomes, I could see my rational and, more importantly, irrational concerns written down. 

Long story short, I applied for over 50 paid internship positions over six months but was denied all of them. I was filled with doubt and uncertainty about my future, but I did not let this break my spirit as I was determined. So, how did I deal with all this rejection? Opening my mind to new opportunities and possibilities helped me during this time of uncertainty. You can only plan so much, after all. It certainly wasn’t easy, but reminding myself that something wonderful was in store for me helped tremendously. 

As a rising senior with big plans for my future, I often remind myself to re-center and reaffirm confidence in my decisions. It is doubly important to do this when plans get derailed. While my paid internship search did not work out, many other wonderful opportunities came my way, one of which was being able to write for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’s You Matter Blog. Moreover, I have a job on my university’s campus and am a hostess at a restaurant near my apartment. 

All of this is to say that no matter how many of your peers are doing seemingly wonderful things with their lives, you can’t compare yourself to them. Your confidence and contentment must come from yourself. It’s not easy; it might take a long time, and you’re not going to stop doubting completely, but it’s still worth a try!


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