Full disclosure: I’m YOLO-ing right now. Yeah, that’s a verb in the form of a gerund. So what? I’ll probably use it as a noun later, quite possibly an adverb, but that’s not why we’re here. If you don’t know what YOLO is, then I hope you’re suffering from a serious case of FOMO right now.

YOLO, as a lifestyle choice, has completely revolutionized every activity in my day. Sometimes I’m at the grocery store and I find myself in the produce aisle jones-ing some yams, when suddenly I begin YOLO-ing. I transform into a state of heightened consciousness where everything becomes awesome. Slow-moving woman on the power chair, you get that bread! A box of cereal, thank you! Cookies, why not? YOLO. Later, as the feelings of YOLO have fully subsided, they hit me again while I’m doing laundry. Spinning clothes: mesmerizing. Homeless man with a surprisingly large wardrobe, how you doing bud? After discovering YOLO, the mundane has become fascinating and all of life’s little chores a bit brighter.

Quite simply, I’m surprised I made it through my first 21 years without the powers of YOLO. It’s more than a saying and more than a thought; it’s a spirit — a spirit that’s all about gleefulness and just having a blast. But who gave us YOLO you ask? I’ll try to give you a little rundown on what I believe to be the origin and subsequent evolution of YOLO.

The concept has been around as long as humans have, but only recently has the YOLO we know and love come into existence. The Romans gave us carpe diem, but that’s not quite it. The counterculture ’60s put an acidic twist on it, but we weren’t quite there yet. The obvious question is: Who birthed the YOLO revolution? Drake tells us YOLO is the motto but that we already knew the essence of YOLO. How did we know? Did I miss the memo? These are questions that kept me occupied when Drake first told me to YOLO.

Only recently have I come to fully understand YOLO and it’s pretty much imperative that you do too. I came to UCSB in 2008 (eons ago, I know), and I still like to pretend that Bieber didn’t exist during that golden age. I spent my freshman and sophomore year, like most of us here, in a relative stupor. I lived for the weekends sprinkled with some Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I did the school thing, dabbled in some extracurricular activities, but I never really got engaged in the UCSB community. Frankly, Sundays became a depressing ritual because the only thing I really looked forward to was usually four days away. Don’t get me wrong; going out and getting a little boozed up was incredibly fun most nights, but I felt unfulfilled. Now looking back on it with the infinite wisdom provided to me by YOLO, I know I wasn’t YOLO-ing.

As a departing senior, spare a moment to heed my advice. UCSB has undoubtedly been the greatest experience of my life and saying that I have regrets would feel a little disingenuous. But if I could run these four years back, there are definitely some things I would do that I missed out on the first time around. I would join a few clubs to meet more people with common interests. I would stress less about school and realize that it’s not the grades we’re here for, but rather the knowledge we’re receiving. Most importantly, I would approach every day with a little more optimism and, finally, I would try to enjoy even the most trivial things. The four years here will fly by faster than you could ever believe. Take every opportunity to challenge yourself, to expand your circle or find a new hobby. If you’re interested in it, UCSB probably has it. Make yourself take that first step. It’s probably the toughest to, but it’s all downhill from there. So if these words aren’t enough, remember: YOLO.

Jake Schurmeier is fourth-year political science major.

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