Fear of missing out on studying abroad

By Tatum Hohl


Peer pressure. That’s why I chose to study abroad. I figured that since everyone else is doing it, I should too. And that is how I ended up in this beautiful city of Florence, Italy. Clearly, this was a case of positive peer pressure because Florence is full of life 24/7.

Whether you’re eating gelato by the Duomo, checking out the view at Piazzale Michelangelo or getting free wine and t-shirts at Dante’s, there is never a dull moment. Abroad, experience comes first and school comes second.

Now that I’ve made you jealous, I must point out that it’s easy to see how someone could develop a severe case of FOMO here. FOMO…the fear of missing out.

I’ve always been pretty content with my grandma lifestyle of going to bed early, drinking iced tea, reading books upon books and taking my near-daily naps. But, like Aladdin, I’m in a whole new world and I’m breaking habits!

I’ve come to find that when you’re surrounded by a beautiful city that never sleeps, fabulous people that already feel like family and a completely different culture, there are things that you simply can’t miss out on. So I’m keeping my grandma ways to a minimum here and experiencing life to the fullest.

Let’s start off with the most obvious thing I’m afraid of missing out on: the nightlife. The people here, including the Americans, actually, mainly the Americans, make it seem like sleep is unnecessary.

The city is alive every night of the week with the same vivacity as the weekend. I’m a social person, but I also have a class at either eight or nine in the morning every day so if I’m going to be awake after 1 a.m. you better believe it’s to explore the nightlife in Florence.

The beauty: The city never changes yet I find something new to admire each day I walk the streets. It’s gotten to the point where if someone is going to the grocery store I will accompany them just to have an excuse to walk outside, even though I don’t need any groceries.

Basically, I would be totally fine being homeless here because living on the streets sounds dreamy.

Knowledge: I’d like to think I’m a bit of a genius. However, my genius is the not the product of desire, as in I’m not always interested in learning. But, in Florence I want to absorb every interesting fact about everything.

I’ve never been a fan of subjects such as history, philosophy, or religion, but being surrounded by the things I’m learning about makes me so intrigued to learn more. For instance, the fact that Galileo’s tomb is literally a 10 minute walk from me makes me more motivated to learn about the philosophers that influenced him.

Being in such close proximity to his tomb also helps me better understand and retain the information.

The food: I mean, duh. First let me tell you that I appreciate food to a very high extent. To clarify this point I will tell you that on a fact sheet about myself I wrote eating under the Hobbies/Interests section.

Anyway, the food here satisfies my taste buds more than I ever thought was possible. For instance, a pesto minestrone soup? Delicious. I am very proud to be an American, but these Italians have a way with food.

Travel: Because of my newfound love for this city, I’ve realized that there are so many things in the world I still haven’t seen or experienced. And, although I have my entire life ahead of me, this is a once in a lifetime experience and I’m not sure if I will ever have the opportunity to travel as freely as I do now so I am taking advantage while I have the chance!

So, here’s my advice to you. Don’t sit back and watch your friends post photos, blogs and statuses about their time abroad. Be afraid of missing out on those experiences and find your inspiration to study abroad.