Friends, Food, and FOMO

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Basecamp finished a few days back and we are attending classes now. The parties that were everywhere during the Basecamp have turned into events organized by various clubs. All these events are supposed to serve two purposes – 

1. Informing the first years about clubs at Tepper

2. Giving them a chance to connect with the second years and learn more about their roles in the club, their internship experience and the right approach for internship.

Now with every event, there come three things: Friends (peer pressure), Food (free!), and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Here’re all of them in detail:

Friends or Peer pressure : There are a lot of events that you will hear about through word of mouth. No matter how well organized or well connected you are, there are bound to be chunks of information that would fall out of your basket of awareness. Now, one of the downsides of word of mouth is that, they always come with an opinion – the opinion of the informer. So you may often hear sentences like – “Oh yes, it’s a GFA event!!! A must attend for all of us.” or “Uh, it’s a public speaking club event. I would rather attend the corporate presentation happening around that time.” And such comments often lead to peer pressure. At times, when you are confused, when you really can’t tell the difference between two conflicting events, the peer pressure may lead you to one event avoiding the other. Unless you are very sure about your priorities, peer pressure plays an important role in what you may want to attend and what not.

Food : One of the key highlights of these events is free food. For some of the events, especially the ones that are squeezed in the lunch hour, having food makes sense. But there have been events, where food was not absolutely necessary, but was there. I have begun to realize that it might be more for enticing the young ones at Tepper, who still love pizza and the free sodas. Free food is more or less a norm at all the events. 

FOMO : FOMO is one of the most crucial aspects of the MBA life – the Fear Of Missing Out. It pervades the very fabric of your day to day decisions. Thanks to the FOMO syndrome, you are constantly evaluating the worth of a social event with respect to another. Thoughts like “What if I don’t go to the event? Will I miss meeting some of the new people?”, “I may miss the tips and tricks of getting an internship if I don’t go to this club event”, “What if some senior gave a golden trick and I was not there” and so on…

FOMO doesn’t stop at this. In some of the lesser mortals, it transforms into FOSO – Fear Of Successful Others, where you start fearing other’s success more than your own failure. Whether you have FOMO or FOSO, one thing is sure that you are attending more events than you can handle or should attend. 

But as some say, it’s still the first week of first year. Make the best out of it. Go out, meet new people and build a network. The events will come and go, but you have to know how to use them best for your own benefit.

I just have one thing to say – if you decide on attending events based on Friends, Food or FOMO, you don’t deserve to be here! 

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