You’re all going to hate me for saying this, but here it goes: YOLO isn’t the worst motto in the world. There, I said it.
I’ll level with you. As it’s used right now, it’s the single douchiest phrase on planet Earth. It’s used by people so douchey, it makes John Edwards, the biggest douche in the universe, look like less of a douche. I mean, it’s been completely co-opted by the Twitter generation just so they can brag to their friends that they drank a whole bottle of “sizzurp” and projectile vomited all over Mom’s brand new BMW X5. #YOLO #LOLOL
Let’s do a douche check:
Drake rapped about it. Check.
THEN he wanted royalties for coining the phrase. Double Check
Zac Efron has it tattooed on his right hand. Three strikes. THE DOUCHEOMETER IS OFF THE CHARTS.
Sorry Zefron fans, but this is something even that dreamy motherfucker can’t pull off. And maybe I’m just going after Drake because of my severe dislike toward the Toronto Raptors.
But while I’m railing on #YOLO as a phrase, the message, surprisingly, isn’t really a bad one. We all know that it stands for “You Only Live Once,” and while it’s been completely usurped by filthy youths trying to one-up each other by justifying their ridiculously poor decisions (i.e.: “I drank so much I fell off a balcony and broke my leg. But YOLO, right?”) there’s something that we, as postgrads, can definitely take away from this.
Throughout our lives, we’ve all, for the most part, had a very straight and narrow path, which we’ve been sprinting down since birth. Get good grades, do well your SATs, get into a great college, get good grades in college, score a sick summer internship (or two or three), graduate, and then BOOM: the real world hits you like a ton of bricks. You can easily get stuck in a job that pays the bills, get comfortable, and then 10 years later, wonder how the hell you got there or stayed in the same place for so long.
Whether it’s YOLO, carpe diem, or even the lyrics to Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway,” there’s something really good we can take away from this. It’s the fact that you really do need to live every day like it’s your last. Do I mean you should start skydiving without a parachute, try switching seats with someone while your car is going 120 miles per hour, drink and do drugs to the point where you end up in the hospital, or other stupid shit so you can get a million hits on YouTube or end up on “Tosh.0”? Absolutely not. Newsflash: Dead is dead. They don’t put you on Tosh’s show if you’re dead and people don’t think it’s cool if you’re dead. You’re dead. That’s it. Done. You don’t get another shot at life.
I’m not saying you should be boring, either. Is living to be 100 by playing it safe your whole life really living? No. That’s how you end up being a curmudgeonly old coot who ties balloons to his house and accidentally kidnaps a Boy Scout.
What I’m saying is that you should take some of Frank Underwood’s advice to heart: “If you don’t like the way the table is set, turn over the table.” Don’t like your job? Quit. Doing something that doesn’t bring you any fulfillment or joy? Get the hell out of there and chase after your passion. Hate your apartment? Go travel the world, move to another city–hell, move to another country.
Run. Fly. Chase your dreams. Paint. Sing. Dance. Write semi-preachy columns on a humor website. Kiss the girl. Chase your White Buffalo.
Because you only live once. #YOLO