Opinions: Rocca-ing the world: Becoming a fan of life



Emily Polizzi

The senior class enjoyed a trip to the Cardinals game together, April 14.

“You only live once.” I’ve always thought that I live my life by this premise: YOLO. But recent events have made me doubt that.

When I have free time, I fill it with books.
When I’m at school, I like to learn.
When I go on field trips, I follow the rules.

These sound boring.

The senior class ventured to Busch Stadium to see the Cardinals take on the Brewers, April 14, For well over 300 of us, the day was joyous: blue skies, 70-degree weather and a Cardinals win. But for a few of us, not so much.

The antics I saw and heard about involving a few of my peers allegedly under the influence on this school field trip to the Cardinals game made me rethink the concept of YOLO.

Honestly, the idea of being under the influence doesn’t live up to the reality I have witnessed of people being under the influence.

Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol teaches nothing about social skills. Being under the influence impairs judgment. Being under the influence destroys memories. And let’s face it, being under the influence makes people look stupid.

At the Cardinals game, I saw a couple of people who couldn’t sit up in their chairs let alone stand up.

That’s just wrong.

I’ve always thought that flying by the seat of my pants and breaking the rules was a YOLO thing to do.

I’ve always thought that being a true fan of all aspects of life was the equivalent to standing up and cheering the whole game.

But I was wrong.

“You only live once” implies living life to the fullest. It implies doing things, seeing things, experiencing things that take me out of my comfort zone.

That’s when I realized that being under the influence is actually opposite of living life to the fullest.

People interpret YOLO as an excuse to break the rules.

But in the true sense of the acronym, getting wasted isn’t YOLO. Those allegedly drunk students could hardly watch the game or have genuine conversations with people.

Once I realized this, I knew that I am, in fact, a true fan of life. And the people who chose to experience events sober are as well.

If someone chooses to get drunk and high, that is also them choosing to check out of life, to avoid facing their problems and insecurities.

That is them trying to stand up and cheer the whole game. That is them accidentally cheering at the wrong time because they can’t comprehend what is going on. Eventually they will get tired and fall on their butts, which these classmates did literally and figuratively.

The people who choose to stay sober know that it’s a necessity to sit down sometimes or to get disappointed sometimes.

When someone strikes out, it’s okay to sit down and be sad for a second. That actually makes us true-er fans than cheering the whole time…like at the wrong times.

Furthermore, it’s okay to sit down and take a break to just read a book or do homework. It’s okay to care about things that are, in fact, more important than social acceptance.

The teenage years are vital to emotional and social development.

And if someone can’t go on a fun field trip and enjoy it without substances, that’s a problem–a problem whose solution is bigger than me and this particular column.

Thank goodness someone stepped in. I cheer the administration. If they had not intervened, then what would have happened?

We came home and got in our cars and drove away.

That’s when the pursuit of happiness turns into a safety issue–not just for us as students but anyone on the road. We are certainly no strangers to that kind of sorrow and loss.

I guess I am grateful to have witnessed this sad event–especially right before prom–because it made me want to be a true fan of life.

“You only live once.” Let’s all make sure we are all alive to celebrate each other’s lives.