YOLO. It was the catchphrase of the century a couple years back, a phrase that allowed us to branch out of the norm and do something radical. Unlike cats, we only live once, and this proclamation is the underlying instigator behind many status-quo-breaking things we do.
For me, that was taking a job beyond the comfort of my small bubble on the East Coast. I’ve studied abroad for a month each for the past two summers, once in Italy and once in India (also YOLO moments), and am currently working as a co-op in Silicon Valley – a place I have only read about prior to this experience.
In reflecting on both my satisfaction with my decision to journey to the West Coast and on the success of NUMA’s recent Beyond Boston Panel, where NU students and alumni spoke at the Northeastern University Marketing Association’s semesterly event, I wanted to touch upon just a few things.
These students have truly embraced this YOLO concept, seizing the opportunity to live and work outside of the confines of the greater Boston area, as I also have. Presenters at Wednesday evening’s meeting included past co-ops from VMware, GE, MasterCard, AWS, and Johnson & Johnson, and they elaborated on their decisions to co-op beyond Boston, the results of those decisions, and the benefits received from those decisions.
Now, I’m not trying to brag about Northeastern University, but I do go there and I have to have some sort of school pride, so here it goes: I believe that it’s important for a college to offer opportunities for students to expand horizons, experience new things, and learn more about the world that we live in. If everything we knew about this vast universe was only our hometown and our college town (for some, these two places are one and the same) we would be extremely limited in knowledge and naive to think that our world consists of just the one small bubble. Northeastern has amazing opportunities, one of which is its co-op program, to allow students to have extraordinary experiences outside of the city of Boston, which in and of itself is a great place to grow and learn.
It is important for all of us, no matter if we’re students in college or adults with a family, to take advantage of the opportunities thrown at us. You never know where you could end up, what you could learn from your experience, or how you could grow as a person. From the looks of it, the past and present Northeastern students were extremely grateful they were able to co-op out of state, and there is further proof in the pudding with our Beyond Boston Blog Series with posts from guest bloggers currently working in the marketing industry at companies around the world.
Regardless of the opportunity, my motto is to pounce on it. I have traveled the world (and the US) due to my adherence to this YOLO philosophy, and I hope that you will do the same. I don’t want to say you should YOLO all the time (diving into a 3-foot deep pool headfirst is not a YOLO moment, it’s just plain stupid) but I will say that you should embrace everything that comes your way, because you never know if you’ll have the opportunity to do so again.
Now, I hate to cut this short, but please excuse me while I go register for the San Francisco 1st Half Marathon. Why would I want to run 13.1 miles, presumably to my death (or feeling thereof)? Because YOLO.