You only live once

Hannah

If you spend enough time with me, you probably looked at the title of this column, facepalmed and moaned in annoyance. For those who don’t know me well enough, I tend to be a teensy weensy tiny bit obsessed with the phrase “YOLO,” which, for those who don’t know, stands for “You only live once.” Now, let me just say that I’m not just spewing out these four letters like word vomit (Mean Girls reference, did you get it?) No! That’s not it at all! I believe this past year I have really developed into an adult. Yes yes, I do realize how 80’s coming of age movie cheesy that sentence was, but it’s the farthest thing from a lie.

When I came to high school I remember looking at teens in shows about high school life like Degrassi, Saved by the Bell, Secret Life of an American Teenager, even Boy Meets World and thinking as an ugly brace-faced freshman, “Pshh, real teenagers don’t have problems like that in high school.” Well let me tell you little rugrats the truth: They. Do… It has literally been insanity what I’ve been through and what I’ve seen my friends go through in the past month.

We’re growing up my little kittens. And tomorrow we leave (spoiler alert) FOREVER. Anyway, back to YOLO: As I got through my problems and helped my friends through theirs this year I can’t deny I added somewhat of a fearless flare to myself. I mean, I’ve always never really cared what people think of me, but ever since I came across YOLO, I’ve been handed a reason for my chaos.

For those who believe that people just say YOLO to cover up the fact that they just did something stupid, you are exactly right. Yet there’s a fine line between jumping into a shark infested tank with steak strapped to your body and holding a big sign that says “COME EAT ME SHARKIES!” and saying YOLO, and jumping into a shark infested tank after taking the proper safety precautions and wearing protective gear and saying YOLO. I’m the second one… More or less… But like the great Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So don’t let these four years just pass you, live them to the fullest! Have no regrets, even if you are only a sophomore. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do but were too afraid to do. Ask your crush out on a date (you realize those chocolates you’ve been hiding in your car for him/her are going to expire soon), learn to play french horn (yes, I did read your diary), become the mascot for next year (because we need one for next year), become an amazing painter (like Drew Boysen, seriously, he is truly an eagle that soars at night), give Sauser a hug (because you know deep down he needs one), say YOLO! But if you come up to me and scream YOLO in my face (Marita Loops) I will hurt you. Don’t think I won’t.

So for those who are departing these hallowed halls of West High tomorrow and for those tiny tykes who are stuck in it a little while longer: You only live once, don’t regret high school, regret what you didn’t have time to do while you were in it. Peace out West High <3