It’s a Sunday night, and you receive a text from your friend to skip studying and go out and act wild. You politely decline, but then your friend replies, “There’s so much fun to have tonight… #YOLO.” Your friend is not referring to Yolo, California; they’re sharing “you only live once.”
This new acronym has gone viral over the Internet with heavy usage. The connotations behind YOLO may encourage risk taking, experimentation and absurd decisions. However, others believe that YOLO isn’t just about drinking, smoking or making a fool of yourself; it’s about doing something with your life.
YOLO became well-known from Canadian musician, Drake, and his song “The Motto” in November of 2011. In his chorus, Drake raps, “You only live once: that’s the motto, n****, YOLO.” Because of Drake’s popularity and his usage of this acronym, Facebook, Twitter and other social mediums have users posting it at the end of their statuses and tweets, as if to pardon themselves from their poor decision-making.
The notion that it’s okay to neglect studying on a Sunday night and to instead go out and party has had some people shaking their heads. “If you use YOLO as an excuse to not study, then that’s misusing the phrase in a way it’s not supposed to be used,” stated Ali Collucci, the Director of LGBTQ.
Part of BC’s mission statement is to promote student success, inclusion, global awareness, accessibility and advanced pluralism. As a student, it’s important to uphold the values BC holds, such as student success. While it may be fun to participate in activities that are unique and fun, remember you’re a student representing BC and that academics should be your number one priority.
Other BC students do not necessarily see YOLO as a degrading acronym to use. Chris Vu, the Volunteer Coordinator from Peer to Peer, shared his perspective of YOLO, “Take chances and live life to the fullest.” Celebrity Zac Efron tattooed “YOLO” to his hand in support of this ideology.
On the other hand, the Social Peer to Peer Coordinator, Divya Nair, explained, “Even though we don’t know when life ends, at each point, we have to make sure the choices we make don’t affect us negatively in the long run.”
Some examples of YOLO on Twitter include “Drag racing with my Prius,” “Getting drunk with my grandma on mother’s day,” “Wearing yoga pants to prom.” However, not all usages of this acronym are wild, and this is where many believe over usage has sprouted.
“Just napped for two hours,” “Got a B on my math test,” “Not stretching before practice” are some of the tweets and Facebook statuses that can be viewed after searching for YOLO. These bland messages followed by YOLO are becoming the new LOL, filler after the message you’re trying to say regardless of whether or not it is humorous or risky. Online comic artist, Tyree Dillihay, tweeted “#YOLO should’ve only lived once… But y’all keep RESURECTING IT,” and that’s the whole idea behind this redundancy.
Instead of popping YOLO on the back of each status and tweet you post, if you decide to use it, use it sparingly to hold more meaning. Use it when you try something new or execute something significant with your life.