You have spent 18 hours studying for an exam, making flash cards, and elaborate systems of anagrams to not fail the “most important exam of your life.” Your friend rolls into class late, admits to have just taken three shots, and whispers drunkenly at you: “YOLO.” You resist the urge to stare in horror at this excuse, but how much does YOLO actually suck?
Many other cultures have expressed the sentiment of “You Only Live Once” before our own eloquent coinage, such as “Man lebt nur ein- mal!” and “Carpe Diem.” Experiencing life to the fullest by getting out of our comfort zones, whether in the realm of romance, political activism, or everyday social life, is something to be valued. Having a catch phrase to throw around to legitimize your daring attitude is convenient.
When it is used to endorse truly stupid and reckless behavior, it is com-pletely missing the point. Rapper Elvin McKinness tweeted just before his death “Drunk af going 120 drifting cor- ners #F***It YOLO.” You do only live once, so should not referencing your own mortality make your decisions a little more conducive towards extend- ing that one life? But how often is our teenaged and twenty something popu- lation doing anything more than pro- crastinating on homework or drinking too much at a party and writing it off as “YOLO-ing it up?” Can an acronym really be blamed for the irresponsible behavior that is our youthful rite of passage? No. It cannot.
Next time someone makes some asinine decision, assume that they are creating memories that they will cherish when they are older, and they have grasped their finiteness, and you can appreciate pop culture in all its glory.: from your secure and elevated stand- ing of responsible and thoughtful deci- sions, of course.
Kate Swartz is a first-year who comments on current pop culture fads with sincerity and gentle humor.