For fun or for the future

Lyndsay Neitzels representation of the opposing mindsets mentioned in the article.

Stella Herman

Lyndsay Neitzel’s representation of the opposing mindsets mentioned in the article.

Stella Herman


Deb wakes up and decides not to go to school. YOLO.

She smokes with her friends. YOLO.

She skips work and takes a nap. YOLO.

10:00 pm, she’s taking shots with her friend. YOLO.

She sneaks out to see the boy she likes. YOLO

She steals a bag of doritos from the store. YOLO.

Smoking in her room, Deb gets caught by her parents. This ruins her relationship with them as there is no trust aspect and so much dissapointment. She does not have a lot of people to run to because all her friends find “distractions” instead. Apparently, her actions influenced her very smart younger brother and he is now suspended from school. “Occasionally” drinking worsened to become a daily occurrence. Her body feels weak. Fast forward to age 40, Deb has liver disease. Her finances plumett and she can not support herself or her kid.

You Only Live Once.

But now, it matters.

You are a tiny speck on a floating rock, nothing you do really matters. It will not affect anything, and we are all going to die anyway. Why not have fun and do what you want to do? The thought of dying without thinking you’ve lived your life to the fullest can scare some people. They don’t see risks, they see opportunities. And sometimes, not the healthiest ones. Death is going to come eventually for all, so wouldn’t you want to leave knowing you did what you wanted to do, consequences or not. In the grand scheme of things, nobody is going to remember my mistakes. Nobody will remember that I got detention on a Tuesday night. Why not have fun before I can’t.

“Leave yourself a good reputation, realize what’s most beneficial for your future.” Your amount of days on earth is uncertain, don’t throw it away or risk shortening that time. You have the ability to make a difference in your family, school, community, city. What is stopping you? Changes you make could influence the way people view things for many generations to come. How could you ignore that potential?

Next weekend, there is an opportunity to go to your dream college for a visit to learn more about the campus and what they offer. That is the same Saturday that your best friend invited you to go to a Halloween party though. There are no parents and it is a costume party. You have been planning on going. You could take into account that nothing you do really matters and go to the party because that’s clearly more enjoyable. Or you could tell yourself that your decisions matter and going to tour the college could be very beneficial and smart to set up your education. What are you going to do?

Fast forward seven years.

Deb, the girl who also thought nothing she did really mattered, went to the Halloween party and partied hard. She had a lot of fun with her friends and stayed up all night. She missed her only chance at a dream college visit so her parents did not allow her to apply. She ended up going to a community college and it did not have the opportunities that she had wished for. Using the approach that was most common to her, she took any chance to party in college and did not get impressive or even passing grades. This did not set Deb up well as she soon dropped out because there was no point in continuing what she had already let go. This caused Deb to not have much money which limited her experiences. Now, she’s living in a studio apartment alone, thinking about how disappointing this must be to her parents who always told her she had the potential to be a star someday.


You Only Live Once.

But now, it matters.