YOLO, So Seize Your Youth

It seems like most of the people my age and younger have that you-only-live-once mentality. I honestly don’t have a problem with the concept of YOLO because, to be completely honest, I’m all for people realizing that we do (depending on what you believe in) ONLY have one life to live. It helps put a lot of things into perspective.

It makes you realize that there are no do-overs; no second chances. Once your time is up…it’s up. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but that’s the hard truth. Upon reading that, you shouldn’t get the urge to go out and do something crazy. You should, however, try to make the most out of the time we are given on this earth.

That is why seizing your youth is so important. That is why NOW is the time for you to do something meaningful with your life. I’m not saying that you can’t do meaningful things when you’re older but why wait until then? You don’t know what tomorrow holds so there’s no better time than the present to do something that matters.

Don’t ask me to tell you the meaning of ‘doing something that matters’ because it’s your job to figure out what that means to you. We all have different goals and dreams so when I say do something meaningful with your life, I don’t mean you have to find a way to cure cancer or step foot on the moon (although both of those accomplishments would be AMAZING and if you want to do either of those things, I say go for it!) but what I do mean is that you should do something that will make you proud of your younger self 60 years from now.

There is no right or wrong way to live but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of videos on Facebook where young people are participating in the fire challenge, the pass out challenge, and whatever other crazy challenge that’s popular these days. I’ll never understand why teens and young adults are willingly setting themselves on fire or making themselves pass out, but I do know that when they’re doing these things, more than likely, there’s a little voice in the back of their mind saying, “you only live once.”

I get it. When you’re young, you feel invincible; like you’re always going to be healthy, like you’re never going to die and you can pretty much do anything because you’re young, and when you’re young you can make mistakes or get so drunk you get alcohol poisoning or forcibly stop the oxygen from going to your brain so you can pass out. You only live once so it makes it okay to do things that won’t better your life in any way. You only live once so why not go to parties all the time instead of focusing on your schoolwork or if you’re not in school, saving up to travel the world and experience other cultures.

I can go on and on and on but the point is, this generation, with our you-only-live-once mentality, turned the concept of YOLO into an excuse for doing irresponsible things and posting it on YouTube or Facebook. I’m not saying this is every young person because it’s not, but people who do something like participating in the fire challenge or getting drunk at a party will get more ‘Likes’ and shares on Facebook than someone who graduates from high school with good grades or someone who spent their summer in a different country doing charity work. The media also tends to focus on teens and young adults who do things that don’t reflect how amazing our generation is. This doesn’t mean that there is a shortage of young people doing great things, it just means that more young people need to be proactive and do the things that matters.

Once you figure out what that means, DO IT. Don’t just sit there. Get up and make something happen. Take this life, the one you only get to live once and make something out of it. You don’t want life to pass you by because when it does, there’s no pushing a rewind button.

This is why you have to start living now. I like a good party as much as the next  person, but that’s not all there is to life. Your age is not an excuse for you to purposefully make mistakes. If you know what you’re doing is wrong or irresponsible but choose to do it because somebody said YOLO, then now is a time for you to evaluate your life. Too many young people lose their lives because they do not-so-smart things and they feel that seizing their youth equates to doing something dangerous or something that they’ll probably regret the next day.

Yes, we only live once, but you don’t know how much time you have. Don’t waste it doing something that doesn’t mean anything to you. A lot of people believe that youth is wasted on the young because, often times, we take this time in our life for granted. But I say take these years for granted. Only take them for granted in a positive way. Seize your youth. I know I keep saying that but it is exactly what I want everyone who reads this to do.

You alone are the author of your own story, so write a good one.

​Image: morguefile