FOMO x LOBI
Fear of Missing Out - FOMO. Some of you might have heard about it, or even might have felt it before.
It is somewhat of an invasive feeling of anxiety that others might be having more meaningful experiences. It tends to get people to become distracted from their inner desires to avoid the feeling of being different, or not part of a group or community.
FOMO can happen in very simple ways.
For instance, deciding on whether to go to a party even if it wasn’t your first choice, or applying for a job in an area that might not be your passion just because some peers are doing it.
This behaviour can be seen in any particular context but is widely spread as soon as you’re accepted in an MBA for a top school.
How will I be able to network with so many people? Will I make new friends? Am I good enough? How do I explore all the resources that I’ll have access to? Those are just some of questions popping up in an MBA student's head.
Thanks to INSEAD's embracing community however, I have found the medicine to FOMO.
It is what we call 'Love of Being In', or LOBI to keep it short.
In other words, it is an expression of gratitude to be part of an environment that is engaged to wholeheartedly help others. When somebody asks if you need help, they truly care about the answer. This is invaluable.
My LOBI trial came when my luggage was lost when I arrived in Paris two days before the start of the programme.
I needed a suit for the first-day official photo. Trying to find a way to solve this issue, I messaged our group to know if someone could recommend a store to rent one. Five minutes later, a peer lent me a suit. Some days after, a member of staff helped me find my bag. Then, a Brazilian mate shared her amazing experience with the alumni that interviewed her, who had promptly accepted her request to an immediate interview. She had a trip scheduled for the next 20 days and would have missed the deadline without his gesture. I also realised an alum made a strong effort to help me along the application process, guiding me through the bumps on the road. Suddenly, uncountable LOBI examples were appearing from all sides.
The INSEAD community clearly rallies for each other and new admits, even from the moment they are admitted into the programme, feel the same responsibility to rally for others when in need. This is how this circle is continuously reinforced.
The truth is that an MBA student must deal with several challenges throughout the programme, which are often much bigger than academics.
We move into a new role, a new place, in a new country, not knowing what will happen in a year. Some have even other things to manage. It’s a lot to deal with, but it’s much easier when someone has your back.
LOBI is the medicine we need. It may sound cliche, but instead of thinking about what we might miss, why not value what we are getting? If we skip a meetup, maybe it’s because we’re putting energy into something else, and that’s okay. Keep the balance. We can use this journey to discover what we’re really passionate about.