4 Reasons FOMO Is Not A Good Excuse To Miss Out on Study Abroad

Written by Carley January 13, 2017

Those who say the grass isn't always greener on the other side haven't studied abroad

I'm starting to think she could blend in on the plane

Passport & Sunglasses: Check

Ready for Take Off on This Journey

You may be sitting here reading this wondering: What is FOMO? Well, let me back up and explain this before I tell you how I overcame it. FOMO – or the Fear Of Missing Out – is exactly what it sounds like. Before I committed to studying abroad, I constantly found myself going back and forth deciding whether I was making the right decision. I thought to myself: You have amazing family, friends, sorority sisters, organizations you’re involved in, and even a job… why are you leaving all this behind to go thousands of miles across the world where you don’t know anyone? You love college and being with my friends more than anything… how could you miss out on all the fun everyone would be having without you? After months of talking with people who have studied abroad and doing my own research, I finally came to the conclusion that the only way I would be missing out was if I didn’t study abroad.

Here are 4 reasons I’m not actually missing out on anything:

1. Meeting New People: My first thought: I’m in a business fraternity, sorority, and 2 other clubs… I haven’t yet had a class at Mizzou where I didn’t know anyone (Ok – maybe I did but that was freshman year), so why would I leave the comfort of knowing people to be with a bunch of strangers? On top of that, four months abroad means missing out on four months of countless social outings, Greek week, formals, and Ellis dates with my friends (Ellis is our library and by dates I mean me forcing them to come study with me). Why would I want to miss out on all this to be with strangers? Ok – at this point I was really just looking for reasons not to leave my friends. And I love meeting new people – you can never have too many friends and making friends is something I’ve never had a problem with so why make it one now. Not to mention I have all next year for football games, formals, and socials with my friends that will still be there when I get back.

2. Traveling/Spring Break: So you might be thinking to yourself (as I was) why would I want to travel with people I just met when I could be traveling with my best friends for spring break. Let’s just start with the fact that spring break is what …9 days versus the 25+ days of travel you get when you studied abroad (not including if you choose to travel after the program ended). And lets be honest – Florida hasn’t changed much the past 4 times I’ve been there (I’ve been there after the oil spill). Oh and if your friends decide to change it up and go to Mexico- been there, done that. On the other hand, I’ve never been to Europe and I wasn’t going to check Ibiza off my bucket list if I stayed at home. Now I was thinking, “Ok so you get to travel longer than you would during a semester at Mizzou… why not just travel for a few months after you graduate with your friends?” which led me to my next thought.

3. Value: Why not just travel with my friends after I graduate? Yeah, you can travel for a few months after graduation, have fun with friends, lounge on the beach, go sight seeing, etc. but aside from some memories for the books and countless Facebook and Instagram pictures… what else would I really be getting? To be honest, not much. Also, as a Finance major I just want to point out it isn’t financially feasible for most college students to not start working right after graduation (those loans aren’t going to pay themselves). So what else would I be getting from studying abroad aside from Instagram pictures (I’m actually really excited about this, not going to lie). First, I just want to point out the cost of taking off months of work to travel- not only the actual traveling expenses themselves but the opportunity cost of missing out on all those days of work. So now that I’m off my monetary soap box, I want to point out the value of studying abroad that traveling itself doesn’t offer: immersion, problem-solving skills, independence, cultural experiences, and an education all in one. Yes – you could obviously still get an education at your university/college and take classes towards your degree, but what you can’t get is cultural experiences that let you see the world from another perspective. Not to mention, if there’s one thing I’ve learned after countless interviews this semester, it’s that interviewers love asking questions that consist of you “telling [them] about a time you’ve encountered [insert something about: a challenge, problem-solving, team-work, multi-tasking].” What better way to answer these than with your experiences abroad?

4. Building my resume: “Internships, jobs, jobs, internships, build your resume, join clubs, build your resume if you want an internship, jobs…” These words have been embedded in my head since day one of college, so naturally I couldn’t help to think: How is this experience going to add value to not only my resume but myself as a potential applicant to the companies I will be applying to in the future? After the past two semesters of taking on countless roles and joining clubs to build my resume, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would be missing out on those opportunities by going abroad. Then I enrolled for the LIFE/LEAP courses and took on this roll as a blog ambassador because what employer wouldn’t like to see real life experiences that build leadership and communication skills?

So with NOMO FOMO, I’m ready TOGO (ha, see what I did there).