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Internships abroad in Vietnam – A way to get over your FOMO

ABROADER August 22, 2022 10 minute read

Together with peer pressure, FOMO is indeed another big concern of young people nowadays. But doing internships abroad to get over your FOMO? Have you heard about that?

But first, let’s talk about FOMO. What’s it all about?

What is FOMO?

FOMO is the abbreviation for “fear of missing out”, namely “a feeling of worry that an interesting or exciting event is happening somewhere else”. These years, the term has become so popular that it was put in the Oxford English Dictionary, hence the above definition.

The reason for this “breakout” could be lying in the rise of social media. They’ve turned into a place where all your peers seem to be doing or possess something better than you do. 

What’s even more surprising, according to a study, about 75% of young people said that they’ve experienced this in their life. This means a whole lot of people suffered from constant pressure, perhaps every day, and for a long time.

Is FOMO that harmful?

If it’s just a little bit, FOMO might also help motivate you to go further and try harder. But, if it makes you feel inferior and anxious, the answer is 100% yes. It is very harmful, both physically and mentally.

FOMO can lead to many negative feelings and behaviors like mood swings, loneliness, reduced self-esteem, or worse conditions such as extreme social anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), etc. And the thing is that you might not even realize it.

The term “FOMO” has become so popular, but it’s actually not a good thing. (Source: Freepik)

Then how does FOMO affect you particularly?

It makes you spend more time on social media

Sounds unbelievable, but it’s real. FOMO makes you nervous all the time, fearing that you will be left out of the small talks and become out of trend if you are not constantly engaged with social media. The result is, obviously, you spend hours and hours wandering on Facebook, Instagram and such. 

On the surface, it seems to help alleviate your anxiety. However deep down, it’s just a false reality. Some studies point out that the excessive use of social media is blamed for distracted learning, distracted driving and drug abuse. While distracted learning is obviously not good for your performance and future career, distracted driving and drug abuse can not only ruin your future, but also take your own life. So as you can see, FOMO is taking you from reality, and even from your responsibilities too.

FOMO lures you in the trap of overusing social media. (Source: Freepik)

It makes you unhappy about yourself and your life

FOMO comes from unhappiness and results in unhappiness. It stems from your nervousness, doubt and stress. When you’re not happy with yourself, you tend to look at other people. “Are they better or worse than me?” “Why are some of them so successful while I’m not? I’m such a failure.” Those thoughts keep floating in your mind, and you end up letting them manipulate you.

Social media indeed offers the answer, the glory and “motivation” you seem to need. But the one that you admire on Facebook or Instagram is also a human, just like you. They also like to show off the best and hide away the worst about them. All the things you see them updating is just the tip of the iceberg. But the fact that they are apparently prettier and better haunts you so bad. You then fall into a hole of identity crisis, low self-esteem, loneliness, and many more. Is it really worth it?

Anxiety, stress, inferiority, depression, etc. – that’s what FOMO brings to you. (Source: Freepik)

So how can you face FOMO?

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is simply the ability to be fully present. It directs your focus on what you’re doing, instead of all the negative thoughts. It’s when you’re on the beach and you focus on the sounds of the sea, or the feel of the ocean breeze so intently, that your mind is too busy to take on any other thing.

Technology break

As simple as it might sound, technology break here doesn’t only mean shutting off all social media. It means shutting them off and doing something else other than sticking yourself to the screen. Cooking, painting, dancing, singing, learning or whatever. It’s fine as long as it’s fun and distracts you from the necessity of touching your phone.

After all, let’s be real

We are merely human, with limited time and ability. We can’t be everywhere and do everything in just a day! Even if you did have some hard time being busy with stuffs, you still need some extra time to rest and recover. Your friends might look fun, but are they really having fun deep down in their heart?

Embracing yourself and accepting what you can’t do is a powerful key to beat FOMO. (Source: Haley Phelps – Unsplash)

But why can internships abroad in Vietnam help with FOMO?

You will be too busy to ever think about social media

Doing an internship abroad means working and living in a totally different culture from yours. Therefore, you will have to take time to adapt to the new life, like studying some Vietnamese, searching for the correct bus routes, deciding the best place to do the grocery, or learning how to communicate with your landlords and local colleagues, etc. All of these things – from the smallest – keeps you busy for several days reminding you to get used to them. It can even take months. And when your mind is so occupied like that, there is no room for the crazy social media to barge in! 

You will be spending time doing exciting things

The purpose of an internship is obviously to gain work experience for yourself, and furthermore, to contribute to society in general. It moves you out of your familiar environment and expands your comfort zone. Introverts or extroverts, you will be able to do the things that you’ve never thought you could before! Besides, it’s also the chance to interact with the locals, make new friends, and learn more about the culture. You will certainly have a lot of fun during the process of finding new things to learn every day, one after another. Now social media can’t make you feel anxious anymore!

Our interns in Hanoi during the volunteer day with the students from the National Economics University (NEU).

You will be exposed to a different life perspective

On that side of the earth, you are feeling inferior to all the flashy things on social media. But across the globe, here in Vietnam, some people are even living under the poverty line making just US $1 a day. Yet they are still very positive. They don’t feel the need to show off to other people at all. They believe that the door to a brighter future will be wide open to them if they work hard enough. Understanding their story, you will learn to cherish the moment more – seeing that being able to afford your life is already a privilege.

Many wonderful adventures await you here in Vietnam

Every day in Vietnam is a new day with new things, hence the new exciting adventures. Buying stuff at the local market or just going around the city on bus is already a one-of-a-kind experience. If you have time, you can spend the weekend venturing off to many other breathtaking destinations as well. Some unexpected things might pop up too, but it’s also a part of the fun. Hanoi, Hue, Danang, or Ho Chi Minh City, it’s all up to you. You are now the storyteller showing them your unique journey, instead of feeling unconfident from their story like you did.

Our interns in Ho Chi Minh City during an exciting trip to Tay Ninh Province.

Want more details on why you should come and do an internship in Vietnam? Read this post!

Ready to travel to learn with us ABROADER? Check out many virtual and in-person internship opportunities below:

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