So this blog post was originally written for the student website I blog for but for some reason they never published it. Feeling a little bit censored, I decided to post it here instead. Sharing is caring guys.
Now I know that the infamous ‘YOLO’ is currently the height of distaste and something which normal people should only use with irony, but the sentiment behind the Drake-inspired motto is centuries old (although Zac Efron is almost undoubtedly already regretting his tattoo). Carpe Diem or ‘seize the day’ has long been embedded in our culture as an aphorism for living life to its fullest, and there is nothing new or original about the ‘YOLO’ craze. Whether we are being told by One Direction to ‘Live While We’re Young’ or by Ke$ha to live as if we’re going to ‘Die Young’, modern pop culture has clutched ‘YOLO’ into its grimy hands and used it to promote a series of cringeworthy songs about getting drunk, getting laid and getting high because, of course, you only live once.
Yet if we only do live once, and unless you believe in reincarnation or are a cat than this is probably the case, then why should we use the ‘YOLO’ motto as one to endorse recklessness and stupidity? Would it not be better to use ‘YOLO’ as a way of taking exciting leaps in life, and doing new and different things rather than just wasting it on a night out? If we only live once then perhaps we should treasure and savour it in our friendships, relationships and careers.
So next time you feel the urge to tweet #YOLO at some mundane moment in your life, maybe at eating a whole pack of custard creams because you are of course a #student, think a little about what it really means. Carpe Diem has been around a lot longer and you don’t see people using that as an excuse to be an idiot. So perhaps studying a little harder for that exam, applying for that opportunity, or doing that volunteering project is a better cause to rejoice in ‘YOLO’. And perhaps, one day, the Twitter-sphere will be filled with people using #YOLO in a way which promotes dedication, determination and achievement in our lives. Maybe, but probably not. A girl can try #YOLO.