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20-something FOMO

‘Sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that we don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.’.

A friend of mine posted this on her instagram account recently and I have to say it struck a chord. I’m 23, relatively successful, mildly happy. I left uni in 2012 and now, after 18 months in a marketing role at a leading retailers Head Office, I work at a national law firm as a marketing and events co-ordinator, a great feat for today’s climate, yes? So why am I continually fretting about the state of my life? Why do I sit online and think; should I be travelling like 30% of my Facebook friends are? Seeing the world and spending years away from home in beautiful far flung places? Because then I wouldn’t be able to afford a house anytime soon I answer, something many of my friends are already beginning to do, leaving me terrified that I’m no where near close to having the money to do the same. I live at home, in the town I grew up in, so I’m not doing the London yuppie scene like 99.9% of University graduates. Taking the tube to soho in edgy outfits on a Friday night. Because if I did that, I wouldn’t have the extra money I have which I spend on my treat of horse riding lessons and my car (plus the sum I put into savings).

But am I missing out by seemingly being the only one NOT doing that?

Basically, I have major FOMO (fear or missing out) and, quite frankly, I’ll always have that FOMO, as all the things I fret about missing out on I could never do at the same time. I can’t live in London, travel the world and buy a house, while building my career, riding horses and maintaining my long term relationship all within the next few years. So why do I feel like I should?

Probably because it seems like everyone else is doing that, because that’s what they’re doing online. Projecting this amazingly perfect facade to the rest of the world. But talking to my friends my age, everyone has this same, paralysing fear they’re spending their 20’s the wrong way. It’s important to remember online isn’t a real persona. And sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that we don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.

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