YOLO is what you make it

Beth Schumacher

To YOLO or not to YOLO, that’s the beginning of this semester’s question.

The acronym, which means you only live once and which was made popular by hip hop artist Drake, has taken quite the beating from those who follow Jack Black on Twitter.

A tweet from Black—“I am fairly certain that ‘YOLO’ is ‘Carpe Diem’ for stupid people”—seemed to start the backlash against the term and those who use it.

Carpe diem is a phrase taken from a Latin poem by Horace published in 23 BC. The full phrase is actually, “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero,” popularly translated to, “Seize the day, trusting tomorrow as little as possible.”

Popular culture is an interesting thing in today‘s younger generations. Those who strongly agree with Black’s tweet believe YOLO users are unintelligent, but are YOLO critics fully educated on the definition of carpe diem and the Latin language, or are they blindly following the words of yet another celebrity in the limelight?

I agree that, in some cases, YOLO is taken advantage of by those who are merely looking for an excuse to get wild and display inappropriate behavior in public without being judged. The truth is, if you do something crazy, like jump out of a moving vehicle, you’re going to be judged regardless of what you shout out beforehand.

But if someone wants to say “YOLO” before taking the plunge into something positive, like starting a new area of study, they shouldn’t be criticized or looked down upon for doing so.

Whether you take YOLO on as your motto or not, you have to realize it can be beneficial, especially at the beginning of the school year. Join a campus activity, make goals for the semester and get close with your neighbors. Your life is what you make it, and you only live once, right?