Why FOMO’s a No-Go: When in Rome, Eat the Pizza

“Please don’t tell me, I’m going to have FOMO for the rest of my life,” said Ilana in response to her best friend Abbie getting a nose ring after a wild night out in “Hashtag FOMO,” the fifth episode of Broad City season two.

For all you grandmas and grandpas out there, FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out which all of us 5Cers are guilty of suffering from at one point or another in our college careers.

It’s a frigid, California weekend night in Claremont and you’re deciding between staying in and organizing your life—which for Ilana, consisted of reinforcing all of the boob buttons on her button-downs, wiping down every surface of her apartment, and combining all of the weed remnants she found to make one giant, super blunt—or going out to CMC’s infamous Wedding Party. In hindsight, you’re choosing between binge-watching episodes of Friends on Netflix versus binge-drinking with your friends. Either way, you will undeniably feel somewhat disappointed in yourself for the poor choices you made that night.

However, as Abbie astutely put it, “You never know if you never try, you never try if you never know, you know?”

I do know. And so does Ilana. FOMO may seem like an immature, unimportant dilemma, but it’s a real feeling that pushes us to embark on adventures that we never saw coming. It all has to start somewhere, though, so don’t be discouraged if the night doesn’t seem very promising at first.

For instance, FOMO pushed me to attend CMC’s Monte Carlo party my freshman fall the same way it drove Ilana to go to Trey’s party, Abbie’s painfully lame boss from Soulstice (a mockery of the popular SoulCycle). With two of my fellow Pitzer friends, we arrived at the faux casino scene, decked out with poker tables refereed by professional poker dealers, feeling underdressed and awkward in the zoo of swaggered out CMC students. I was quickly separated from both of my friends, and found myself wandering even more aimlessly like a Camp Sec officer.

Meanwhile, the overdressed Ilana and Abbie enter the uncomfortably intimate apartment party of Trey’s spandex-clad trainer companions snacking on Clif Bars “for the guys” and Luna Bars “for the girls.” They soon find out that instead of being extremely early, they are the last ones to arrive. Despite the initial weakness, the night is far too young to give up on the underlying FOMO quite yet.

Thanks to running into my ridiculous friend Sammi, dressed head-to-toe in a red flapper outfit, and to Ilana’s roommate Jaime, who informs her about another party via text, both nights begin to transition into ones filled with absurd debauchery and randomness.

After pretending to know how to play poker and pissing off one too many serious poker experts, Sammi and I stumbled over to the glorious land of free lining, unicycling engineers that is Mudd. The aroma of freshly baked food takes us out of the nudist colony where we find an unattended box of untouched cheese pizza on a rugged, deteriorating couch, or as I like to call it: a gift from the heavens. Then, naturally, we dueled two fully-cloaked Mudders in a game of two-on-two on basketball. We lost, so to cope, we slow danced to a mash-up of Adele and Daft Punk by a burning fire pit to conclude the night.

Ilana and Abbie, on the other hand, after faking a medical emergency involving a tapeworm in Abbie’s butt to escape watching The Apprentice All-Stars DVD all night, head to a plethora of parties. A promising 10 of a party drops to an 8.5 when they see a girl blowing her nose. No, thank you. Lincoln has so much FOMO that he leaves his own party.

Alas, they find the perfect 10 party on the black-lit rooftop of a stranger’s place: neon bracelets, all-you-can-drink kegs, a fedora-wearing guy on stilts and straight dudes making out in a kiddie pool. The party comes to an abrupt stop after the cops break it up, but Ilana and Abbie’s night isn’t going to be ruined by the law.

Abbie leads Ilana through a grungy alleyway into a 1920s style bar where Abbie transforms into the old-fashioned, cabaret lounge singer, Val, a billiards master who eats diamonds. Ilana has never been more proud of her best friend and has nomo FOMO, dawg.  

Keep FOMO in mind this weekend when you’re deciding to stay in or go out, because the latter could involve you simultaneously eating pizza and becoming a basketball protégé or even a famous late-night, diamond-eating entertainer overnight.

Will Cafritz PZ ’16 is majoring in media studies with a concentration in film/video. He is from Washington, D.C. and has dual citizenship in Switzerland.

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