You only live once so don’t be stupid

State Hornet Staff

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YOLO – You only live once – is the movement that encourages stupidity among young and middle-aged adults to justify going crazy, in fear their last day may come unexpectedly.

The term was coined by rapper Drake in his song “The Motto” in 2011, and inspires younger generations to follow his saying and use it to justify reckless behavior. 

Ervin McKinness, 21-year-old rapper, tweeted about drinking and driving and mentioned YOLO in his tweet, he died in a DUI car crash in Ontario, Calif., allowing this saying to validate his actions, according to Huffington Post.

Partying all the time because youthfulness is limited, creates a “go crazy while we are still young” mindset. Worries of growing up and not having anything to show for it is an overriding concern that early adults try to avoid by going out all the time, thinking they will miss out on something exciting.

Popular songs like “1Nite,” by Cobra Starship, perpetuate the YOLO mentality. Some lyrics to the song are, “So let’s keep it rocking ‘til daylight, gotta live like we got one night.” A hit song drawing people in to take it’s advice. 

“It depends on how they choose to interpret it,”  said communication studies professor Jared Anderson. “If they use the idea that ‘you only live once’ to excuse stupid behavior and do things they know they shouldn’t do, that can have a pretty negative impact. However, the idea can also be used to help motivate a person to try new things, follow their passions, work hard and take things seriously, so it could also be positive.”

The term YOLO is being used as a positive guiding principle for the company Yolo Board in San Diego. The company designs stand-up paddle boards and embraces the motto that you only live once, so try out its boards.

“I often take a humorous approach to using the term, such as when my friend and I are having beers, trying to decide if we should have one more,” alumna Natalie Martinez said. “We go, ‘Oh well, YOLO.’ I take the term lightly, in an almost satirical sense, because it’s funny. But some people definitely need to grow up when it comes to making adult decisions that can affect their life immediately or in the future.”

There is recent news surrounding YOLO regarding the University of Loyola New Orleans. During Mardi Gras at the beginning of March, the letters ‘y’, ‘l’ and two ‘o’s’ of a campus sign were stolen. Campus officials told the media those letters were probably stolen because of the saying.

“YOLO mindset does affect people still,” said junior business major Jorge Gonzalez. “Many of our youth misinterpret YOLO for a reason to act careless and carefree. Only when you use the motto as motivation can it be productive.” 

The outlook that life is short and you need to enjoy and experience everything it has to offer promotes risky behaviors, going against the very idea that life is fragile.

Experiences in life that add to worthwhile accomplishments are ones to bank up, but not late night debaucheries that end in hugging the porcelain throne.