An undergraduate student was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 14 after parachuting from the Rush Rhees Library fire escape with nothing but a bed sheet.
The student sustained only a minor concussion. When asked what prompted him to risk his life in a seemingly ungratifying act, the student responded, “[hashtag] YOLO.”
YOLO is an acronym for “you only live once,” a phrase which promotes decisions based on the fact that humans only live one life. While some students are using the abbreviated phrase to pursue acts which endanger their physical well-being, others use YOLO to live a more passionate lifestyle by pursuing desires they’ve always had but never acted on.
“Now that I know I only live once, I don’t have to worry about smuggling Hillside candy in my backpack anymore,” junior Karl Theef said.
Senior Chloe Sheats expressed similar enthusiasm about this new-found freedom.
“I get to leave my laundry in the dryers for consecutive nights,” she said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
YOLO has also encouraged students to undertake the risky venture of approaching their campus crushes.
“I made really intense eye contact with [my crush],” freshman Clarise Taire said. “He’ll probably text me later for dinner.”
Another student had a similar breakthrough.
“I saw a hot chick in Starbucks and asked her out, right on the spot,” sophomore Will Frendieu said. “I thought, whatever, y’know? YOLO! Yeah, she might’ve been a little frightened, but still accepted my friend request.”
This motto has gone so far as to affect a number of the students’ life decisions. The College Center for Advising Services has had a sudden influx of students radically deciding to change their majors in order to study “what they’re interested in.” Male engineers are dropping out of their programs and petitioning for the creation of a new major, tentatively titled “men’s studies,” born out of, as one ex-engineering student put it, the desire to “know man’s place in the modern world.”
Perhaps the most radical reaction is the sudden lack of personal insecurities across campus. With the realization that they only live once, students are going so far as to not care what others might think of them. Varsity athlete and junior Brock Channing no longer worries about how his favorite coffee drink will affect his image.
“You know, I just really like pumpkin spice lattes,” he said, taking a sip from his pink traveler’s mug. “YOLO lets me know that that’s okay.”
Junior Bernard Flax felt a similar taste of freedom from self-consciousness.
“Before, it wasn’t socially acceptable to sprint to class or even around campus,” he said. “But, thanks to YOLO, I don’t have to worry about judgment from my peers as I run with wild abandon across the quad.”
Like Flax, the YOLO effect doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In the case of the parachuting student, living your life knowing you only have one may or may not result in a concussion. But if one thing is for certain, YOLO is becoming a lifestyle.
Quinn is a member of the class of 2013.