It was Lou Reed that proclaimed “take a walk on the wild side,” and his life’s doing okay. Whoever said that spending forty years working for someone you don’t like on a job you can only just bare is the greatest way to live your life? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t strive to achieve in what you truly believe in, just why not, have fun?
In preparation for writing this, I heard a quote from a student here at Loughborough. He stated his philosophy that he’d “rather have a 2:1 or 2:2 and have gone out and had fun, than having spent three years on a course spending his life in a library to get a first.” Whether you agree with this or not, you must admire his conviction.
Personally, I believe you should be able to do both (and I’ve tried my best!) and this isn’t even from a pleasure pursuing perspective. The balance of both work and play has always been hard, but experience in play develops the social skills that companies will always value. After all, how can you blag an interview if you lack the confidence to socialise?
To many, the central criticism of this philosophy will be the use of binge-drinking to enjoy oneself. To many, this buzz word is an excuse for social anarchy and even mindless violence. But simply, this is not the case for the majority. Drinking is a socially acceptable hobby that we all enjoy, and it has been for thousands of years. While some drink to excess, and many have died pursuing hedonism, to judge those who want to engage in a primal ritual is foolhardy.
But, I myself am falling into my own trap; to categorize drink and drug abuse as the only aspect of hedonism leaves out the greatest parts of living life dangerously. See the world! Try bungee jumping! Be young and free! Just remember that the sixty to eighty years you’re allowed on this planet are yours and no one else’s, and once you’re too old to function, or settling down, what you’ll treasure the most are the memories of your youth.
I’m no Pete Doherty figure, you won’t regularly find me in a gutter next to EQ, but I believe it’s important to remember that working for someone else’s profit isn’t the answer to life, the universe and everything. Society wants us to follow a set path; birth, learning, working, death. And while the opportunity to travel the world or pursue your own interests is accepted, it’s seldom encouraged. Only you can choose to live dangerously, that’s why it’s such a necessity to freedom.
You can read the Elena Li-Wa Chiu's contrasting opinion on this topic here.