The Freshman Chronicles

FOMO with Family

Hello all and welcome to the Freshman Chronicles, a place in the SPECTRUM where I spill all my emotions and thoughts onto a page and then have it published for all of you to read. Each week I cover a new topic that is of utmost importance to me, so this week we’ll be discussing the phenomena of FOMO on everything that takes place back home once you leave. 

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I allow myself one existential crisis per week, so for the past few weeks, I’ve been stuck on the fact that even though I am not experiencing the reality of back home, life has continued and things do in fact happen without my being there. This has taken quite a toll on me; I can’t comprehend that everyone has their own thoughts and lives that I don’t know about.

 Just as I go through my days, so does everyone else. This might sound a bit narcissistic and like I think the world revolves around me, but when you think about it, the confusion begins to set in. Anyway, I think the reason this idea has been so prevalent in my mind has to do with the fact that my family has continued to live a life. 

Everyone is having their birthdays, my siblings are participating in sports, and I no longer have everyone’s schedule taking up space in my brain. Regardless of whether I’m there, my family is moving on with life and continues to experience new things every day that I might never know about. 

Before college, I knew almost everything about everyone in my family and was up to date with even the smallest things that happened during their days, but now I have to be filled in during our hour-long FaceTimes twice a week which doesn’t leave much room for me to dive into anything very deep because there are seven people I need to talk to. 

In a way, I feel a little left out and like I’m missing out on my siblings growing up. I’ve missed birthdays, holidays, and games, and I’m beginning to have FOMO for my family the same way I would in high school when I was with my family instead of being a “normal” teenager out with friends. 

My little sister was a starter for the first time on my high school girls’ varsity basketball team, and the pain I felt when I wasn’t there supporting her is something I have become very familiar with. I was so proud of her, but I had to text her instead of giving her a hug and saying it to her face.

I know that when I was playing, I always looked forward to having my entire family there to encourage me, so it hurts a little extra when I imagine that she didn’t have me there for such a memorable moment. I guess you could say I feel that I’m letting a part of me down when I am not able to be there as a big sister. 

My siblings might not have been around for my entire existence, but I have for theirs’, so when I am no longer getting to grow right alongside them and am instead miles away and having to do it on my own, it’s a whole new feeling of loneliness. 

If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t been in the greatest mental state lately, and getting to go home for Thanksgiving break really opened my eyes to how much the time I have with my family plays into this. Not only was I a lot happier at home, but I was also less anxious and stressed about everything going on in my life. 

Getting to go through life with my family physically alongside me just makes everything so much better so to say it’s been an adjustment coming to college and not seeing them for months is an understatement. Even though I have a few friends and people that bring me happiness, I have never felt so lonely. 

I miss being able to walk into my sister’s room and annoy her or watch my younger siblings learn something new or tell me about something that happened during their day at school. Not having that deep connection where I’m allowed to just be there and no one expects anything from me, is something I didn’t realize I would miss until I actually missed it. 

I know that I am most definitely not the only one feeling this way, but I still manage to make it seem so. It’s hard to think that I will never live with my family the way I did before leaving for school, but I can always depend on the weekends and breaks that I get to go home to make me feel just a little better. 

If you are experiencing this in any way, just understand that even though you might not get to go back home every weekend, your family will always be waiting for you with open arms to return and take that much-needed break. And even if you don’t have family or a great living situation, just know that there are people who love and care for you. With that, I wish my fellow freshmen good luck and God’s speed

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