Embrace The FOMO: Why This Generation Needs To Miss Out To Have It All

by Gigi Engle

We Millennials have big expectations. We may be referred to as a generation bogged down by restless ADD, but we should not consider this to be detrimental to our futures or our successes.

It’s true that we may have trouble staying in one career or living in one city. But, it’s our sense of personal drive, our desire to see and understand the world, and our sense of adventure that makes this generation the most unique in history.

We have so much to give back to the world. We’re not jaded by the past and we’re not held steadfast in tradition. Instead, we respect the future and what we can do to influence it.

We want so much. We want it all. The sky doesn’t feel like the limit anymore. Now, the limit extends to the far corners of the universe and beyond.

While we have lofty aspirations and goals for which we are willing to fight to make come true, there is a collective disease plaguing our generation. This disease is called FOMO.

We fear missing out. We fear being left behind. We fear losing out on something that could prove a key factor in our futures. While there are so many positive aspects to everything we see in the future, and while there are so many possibilities we see before us, we don’t want to compromise. We don’t want to miss it — whatever it is.

No experience can be gone without, no party can be left unattended and no dinner invitation can be rejected. Missing out is the cause of so much of our anxiety. I mean, a huge chunk of my friends are on Xanax.

Our worries may be continuously classified as First World Problems, but that isn’t entirely fair. Our towering aspirations cause these problems. We don’t want mediocrity, as that's the 20-something’s kryptonite.

When we miss a party, that last drink or even the company happy hour, it keeps us up at night. We're tossing and turning in our shared apartments, wondering if we may have shot ourselves in the foot by skipping an event or an appointment.

We drag ourselves to every party; we take every shot; we book every ticket. We don’t want to miss out. To miss out would be to fail and failure is not an option.

We’ve been labeled selfish, lazy and directionless. If we missed an opportunity for greatness, we may end up proving those labels correct. We want to be CEOs, not government workers.

But, what does it mean to fear missing something so deeply? What stability can we have if we’re constantly on the move, so as to soak up every single solitary experience we can possibly have?

If we saturate ourselves with cocktail parties and forgotten acquaintances, are we not lessening our life happenings? It seems like the most tragic of Catch-22s. We don’t want to miss out on anything, and yet, to not miss out would be to miss out on the best of best.

I suppose there is no way to know which experiences are best and most important in which to indulge. We may be driven and steadfast, but we still can’t predict the future.

This generation, as much as we hate to admit it and vehemently attempt to reject it, will have to settle down and ease into the calm waters of everyday life. We'll have to settle down and move forward in our careers and begrudgingly accept that whatever experiences we’ve had and whatever experiences will come are just what they should be.

At some point, we must give a little to get a little. If we keep chasing every social gathering without stopping to appreciate the world in which we live and all our blessings, there isn’t really a point in having those blessings in the first place.

We feed off frenetic energy, uncertainty and series' of moments. In these simple, unattached years in our 20s, at some point, we must see this collection of moments for what they are. Each moment is a part of our personhood.

Whether you skipped an event or made them all, your series of experiences add up to whom you see in the mirror. Hopefully, that person makes you happy, and with a little luck and a lot of determination, he or she will.