By Kiana Duncan

Have you ever wondered why upperclassmen laugh when they see freshmen going out? Well, first of all, it’s because it’s 40 degrees and you’re wearing a skirt that looks so thin and short I’m cold just watching you. Maybe it’s because you’re wearing heels you clearly can’t walk in. But most of all, it’s because we’re curled up in our sweatpants and boots, coming back from a snack trip from Prentice, thinking about all the “Criminal Minds” episodes we’re going to catch up on. Makeup-free and cozy, going out to some sweaty frat house to drink crap beer is the last thing we want to do. Besides, it’s a “Harry Potter Weekend” on ABC Family.

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is something just about every freshman experiences, and Lord knows I did. After Welcome Weekend was over, all I heard about was the crazy awesome parties. Despite how many got freshmen got arrested, I was still a little jealous. I didn’t want to go to college and be lame. I had done a lot of fun things; I just hadn’t gone out, and for some reason it made me feel bad. Everyone gets hung up on having the “typical” college experience, but there really isn’t one.

Later on in the year, it starts to feel like maybe you should be going out every Thursday, until you look at your to-do list. Your online quiz that you haven’t even studied for is tomorrow, and your analysis is due Sunday. However, your friends are all telling you to go out with them.

Being a huge “How I Met Your Mother” fan, I always compare it to the “Blitzgiving” episode, in which every time someone leaves the room or leaves early, something amazing happens. For example, everyone gets free beer, or all their friends have an amazing night. It’s hilarious to watch, but it’s also ridiculous, which is what makes it so funny. It doesn’t happen like that in real life.

See, sometimes your friends will have an amazing night, but you’re not going to if all you’re worried about is how you’re going to do on that test tomorrow. If you don’t feel like putting on that dress after eating so much food from Wholly Habaneros, don’t. You’ll probably have a better time finishing what you have to do and watching a movie. I’m not advocating to never party, because sometimes it’s awesome. Just don’t feel like you have to.

You’re not going to miss out on anything that hasn’t happened before. You know what would have happened. You would’ve fought for beer against other girls, you would’ve danced, some frat guys would’ve grinded on you and then somehow Tiffany ends up crying because her ex is here. You finish the night at Rosie’s eating mozzarella sticks and waffles. It would’ve been fun in it’s own way, but that doesn’t always have to be your definition of fun. This isn’t high school. No one cares if you went to a party or not. It’s just you and your own choice.

This doesn’t just apply to going out, either; it can apply to grabbing dinner, having a movie night or anything else you have to convince yourself to stay in for. All of that stuff can wait, and who wants to sit through a movie while stressed out anyways? Don’t sacrifice your education because of FOMO. My advice would be to grab a planner and mark down the big stuff you want to do: cardio kickboxing night, Thursday highlighter party, anime night, whatever it is. Then the next time someone invites you to do something and you’re drowning in schoolwork, you can say no because you know you get to see them soon anyways. Besides, if you love your major, the schoolwork should be enough of a motivator.