When YOLO Goes Wrong

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There’s something to be said for YOLO. Besides being biologically true (unless you’re Tupac), the idea of making the most out of the one life you have is admirable. Unfortunately, the term has morphed into a trashy excuse for justifying the stupid decisions of college kids. YOLO should be used to validate impromptu road trips or a skydiving excursion, not downing your 14th can of Natty Lite. To help bring the term back to its existential roots, here are a few of the most embarrassing and downright insulting uses of the phrase YOLO:
1.) Incorrect: “I’m gonna get a tattoo! YOLO!”
Chances are you’ll only utter this sentence after you’re too drunk to realize you’ve accidentally stumbled across a tattoo parlor. This is how tramp stamps happen. Sure, Ted Mosby’s tramp stamp almost got him a wife (How I Met Your Mother fans, holla). But chances are you’ll wake up with a pain in your lower back in the form of some demon butterfly.  
Correction: “I have too much respect for my body to ink it up without making an informed decision first. YOLO!”
2.) Incorrect: “Come on babe, YOLO. Let’s do it.”
How romantic. The only time someone would have to play the YOLO card while hooking up is if the other person clearly isn’t willing to go as far as he or she would like to go. First and foremost: no means no. Second of all, there’s no way both parties are going to be happy with the outcome of the decision in this scenario. This can also come in the more dangerous form of, “I won’t wear a condom. YOLO!”
Correction: none. Again, NO MEANS NO.
3.) Incorrect: “Sure, I’ll take a hit of that. YOLO!”
That Rastafarian-looking guy with the dreadlocks offering you a hit out of his pipe looks like a real straight shooter. And besides, what’s the worse that can happen? The worst-case scenario is you ending up in a ditch somewhere. Cause of death: jumping off a roof into a ditch while high as a kite. Your one life won’t last long if this is how you choose to live it.
Correction: My life is precious, and I won’t risk it by taking something I am not completely sure about. YOLO.
4.) Incorrect: “It’s all-nighter time! YOLO!”
This one isn’t as bad for you as a tramp stamp, YOLO sex or the sketchy-looking pipe. And yes, sleeping does defeat the purpose of YOLO. But you justify an all-nighter because you have a huge project due the next day and you need the time to work on it, not because you only live once and Arrested Development is on Netflix.
Correction: My work tonight is going to take a long time to complete and will all affect my grades – which will subsequently affect my future – so I’m going to pull an all=nighter to get it all done. YOLO.   
5.) “I’m gonna streak on game day! YOLO!”
I hope you like the feeling of a taser on your nuts moron. Unless the Pittsburgh Pirates have just won the World Series (Pirates Only Live Once…POLO!), keep your clothes on. That’s the only moment in sports that will be worthy of ripping off your clothes and celebrating like there’s no tomorrow. Otherwise, cover it up. There are children here.
Correction: I’ll save this one for a special occasion. YOLO.
Photo: at http://improperusesofyolo.tumblr.com/post/23323104329

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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