So now we are all back in Durham. Isn´t it amazing how quick the transition is. One minute we are asleep on the couch to the sound of FRIENDS running on the TV, with a box of Cadburys on our bellies. The next minute our noses are buried in papers, books and a glasses of wine. I am sure I´m not the only one having a difficult time these first few days of the term, reacquainting myself with high stress-levels and lack of sleep. I am not a psychic, but I did see it coming. So, to prevent myself from having more minor breakdowns (understatement) in either Bill Bryson or Klute, I made a few new years resolutions for myself. No, it isn’t to lose weight or to live in the gym, or even to be more social. Rather the opposite; I have decided that it is time for me to learn how to tackle the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) syndrome. You know the feeling, a kind of nauseating paranoia creeping through your entire body, feeling the urge to check your Facebook newsfeed every three minutes. It has got to stop.
The first step of recovery will be to force myself to stay in on the first few Klute nights. In fact, that’s what I am doing right now. Instead of downing Jagerbomb after Jagerbomb, I am sitting on my bed drowning my sorrows in a glass of…water…and writing. Furthermore, instead of listening to Kayne West, Take That or Justin Bieber (I promise I only do that during pres..) I´ve put on a CD of classical music. So far so good, I am quite proud of myself actually! It does feel highly un-natural not sitting in my college bar with my friends, drunkenly chatting away about absolutely nothing, but in a way the peaceful classical music and therapeutic writing session feels blissfully cleansing and…uh…healthy..?
Who am I kidding, I can´t stand this. The bottle of Tesco-value vodka is looking sheepishly at me from the top shelf of my cabinet. I can feel it trying to lure me over. Evil disgusting fluid. Sorry, I´m rambling, I´ll get a grip and convey to you what the second step of my recovery from FOMO is going to be. So, the second step will be to make myself enjoy my own company more. The intense socialising of college life is exhausting, I think it must be so for many people. Every day we eat three meals in the company of a 150 other freshers. In-between we go to lectures and seminars with many of those same people, and at night we pop down to the college pub for a quick drink (which turns into three or more) and again we are in the company of those same 150 people. And it doesn’t matter how nice they are. It doesn’t even matter how much you love all of them, or some of them. It is, undeniably, tiring. Hence, part of my resolution is to have some time to myself every day. It doesn’t need to be a lot, merely an hour of solitude in my room, or a quiet walk by myself.
On a more serious note, it is a challenge being introvert at Durham. The college life and the social scene is much better fitted to extroverts. Introvert is a strong description, I will not go as far as saying that I am an introvert person. However, I am much farther from being extrovert. And that is ok, needing a bit of quiet is absolutely fine. The difficult thing is to remind oneself of that fact that it is, in actuality, alright! Needing to be alone is not the same as being boring, it is rather a requisite for not being boring. It can enable you to enjoy a night out more and give more of yourself precisely because you have had that little break.
I don’t have a third step of “recovery” from FOMO. If I should have to formulate one at this moment, I would say the third step should be as simple as to give myself what I need. That formulation concludes this little piece of therapeutic writing nicely. The second term doesn’t have to be exactly like the first term was. It will be better, primarily because everyone will, I am sure, find out exactly what they need to enjoy it more. That being said, I will excuse myself and go to sleep, again to the sound of a FRIENDS episode running in the background.
Until next month,