A little Lee-way: That YOLO mentality

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Photo by Landon Ballesteros

One day, this will be me jumping out of an airplane. Why not? YOLO!

By Mehana Lee, news editor

After the song “The Motto,” by Drake, came out in late 2011, teenagers began to use the most popular saying in the song, “YOLO” as an excuse to grow up faster than they should.

I see it every day, I hear it every day, I feel it every day. In the hallways, at the mall, at the beach…it’s everywhere. I like to call it the “YOLO” mentality or the “you only live once” mentality.

“Did you see how messed up I was at the party this weekend? It was so fun. YOLO!”

No, I personally don’t think that’s YOLO. That’s just plain idiotic. If somone is proud of it, not my business. But when someone announces that to the entire class or purposely says it loud enough for everyone to hear, it becomes my business.

Quite frankly, that makes me disappointed…and I’m sure if you heard yourself saying that, you would be disappointed too.

Maybe it was in Drake’s intentions to have teens think like this. Maybe it was in his intentions to speed up the adulthood in teen’s lives. I mean, who knows. I can’t really say anything because I don’t know the guy.

But I do know that the interpretation of YOLO has been taken way out of proportion. Kids say it to make them look a little more innocent. It’s like they take the saying as, “Oh, well I wasn’t really thinking when I did that. But you only live once, right?”

They think that if they say YOLO, their mistake is simply dismissed. It’s not as simple as that.

YOLO is engraved into teenager’s mind as an easy excuse to get away with things. If teens are so concerned about the one life they’re living, why can’t they understand that there’s much more to it than getting messed up at parties or doing other illegal stuff?

Here’s what I see YOLO as. Do you guys know who Felix Baumgartner is? If not, he’s the dude who free fell from 13 miles up and was the first man to break the speed of sound. (He reached 833 mph. Imagine falling through the atmosphere that fast. Wow.)

Yeah sure, his idea probably wasn’t the smartest or the safest, but my point is, he was living his life to the fullest. Baumgartner was taking things to new limits; higher and greater things were conquered by him. THIS is YOLO.

It’s living your life to the fullest, not getting messed up on a Saturday night.

It’s doing something out of the ordinary that no one saw coming, not following along with the crowd.

It’s simply making the best of what you have and positively influencing others as well as yourself. It’s making a statement, not craving for attention. YOLO literally does mean “you only live once,” but that doesn’t mean you should interpret YOLO as everyone else is.

Be different. Be unqiue. Be smart. Be YOU. That, my friends, is what I like to call YOLO.