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  • Writer's pictureDhruvi Shah

Embracing the YOLO Mentality: The Truth Behind Life's Finite Moments

So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this phrase we all love to throw around— YOLO. You know, “You Only Live Once.” It’s become kind of a cliché, right? But I think there’s more to it than just an excuse to do something crazy. Sometimes, we use it as a free pass to make dumb decisions without really thinking about the consequences.

Did you know that according to a survey by The New York Times, nearly 55% of teenagers have admitted to doing something risky just because of peer pressure? That’s more than half of us! And a lot of times, it’s because of this whole YOLO mindset. Don't get me wrong, I’m all for living life to the fullest, but there’s a line between having fun and being reckless.

Another phrase I’ve heard a lot lately is “do it for the plot.” It’s kind of the same thing as YOLO, but with a twist. People use it to justify making their lives more interesting, even if it means doing something dangerous. There was this story I read online about a girl who went cliff diving because she wanted a cool story to tell. She ended up getting seriously injured. It’s like we’re living in a movie, and we think we’re invincible, but in reality, we’re not.

Statistic show that social media plays a huge role in this. A study from the journal of Youth studies formed that 70% of teens feel pressured to share exciting content to gain likes and followers. This pressure can lead us to make bad choices, all in the name of YOLO or doing it for the plot.

But here’s the thing. In reality, we don’t only live once. We live every day, but we die only once. This shift in perspective changes everything. Even sunrise is a new opportunity, a fresh start to make better choices, create new memories, and live meaningfully, when we think about it this way, it becomes clear that each day is a chance to embrace life, not just in wild, reckless moments, but in the simple, beautiful ones too.

There’s a kind of poetry in the idea that we live every day. It means that life is not just about the high points, the Instagram-worthy moments, but also about the quiet, ordinary days that make up our lives. It’s in the mornings when you feel the warmth of the sun on your face, the afternoons spent laughing with friends, and the evenings sharing dinner with family. These moments might not seem as exciting as jumping off roots or getting lost in the woods, but they are the threads that weave the fabric of our lives.

So, what’s the takeaway here? I think it’s important to embrace the YOLO mentality but in a more mindful way. Life is definitely about making memories and having fun, but it’s also about staying safe and thinking about the future. Instead of cliff diving or jumping off a roof, why not find safer, yet still exciting, ways to make our lives interesting?

For instance, join a new club at school, learn a new skill, or travel to a new place with proper planning. These experiences can be just as thrilling without the added risk. And remember, it’s totally okay to say no to something that feels dangerous, even if everyone else is doing it. True bravery is knowing your limits and making smart choices.

In the end, we really do only live once, so let’s make sure we’re living our best lives, not just the most reckless ones. Let’s turn YOLO into a motto for positive, meaningful experiences, and not just an excuse to throw caution to the wind. We can still have amazing stories to tell, just without the injuries and regrets.

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