By Clay Parlette
With the everyday stresses of college and life, it’s easy to get anxious and just plain glum. There are so many people in the world who, instead of living for now, live for 5 p.m. on Friday night. I mean, who doesn’t love Friday nights, right? But when you think about it, it’s pretty sad that out of seven weekdays, much of America is only enjoying two of them. I’ve certainly had my share of stress and anxiety this year, but at the end of the day, this excitement is what makes life great.
Sometimes in the chaos of life we see everything as a struggle. Everything seems to be raining down on us to the point where some of us actually feel guilty when we go to bed for the night (I should be getting some work done!). I’ve found that a very effective solution for me when I’m feeling this way is to spend some time sipping a latte and watching one of my favorite YouTubers: Tyler Oakley. His humor and overall bright personality has helped me realize that life really is what you make of it and that even in the hardest of times, there’s always a reason to laugh, smile, and have fun.
It might sound ridiculous and even slightly creepy that I find myself fangirling over a person I’ve never met, but what makes this guy so special is that he too, before his viral fame, was an average college student who dealt with the same frustrations and hurt that we tend to feel every day. In the midst of it all, he still managed to have fun and be weird, even if it meant getting a ‘B’ or receiving a few funny looks every now and then.
For his part, Tyler’s contagious brightness has gotten him more than just millions of views on YouTube; he’s met such celebrities as Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama, he’s traveled the world on tour, and he became an official endorser of Taco Bell. His newly released book, Binge, which recounts some of his most personal stories from his college days, is already in the running to become a New York Times bestselling book. In this case, Tyler’s fame and fortune came not from winning a Nobel Prize or from having a successful audition on American Idol; it came from simply being himself and sharing that with the world. It truly is beautiful what possibilities lie ahead if you accept yourself for who you are. Maybe you aren’t quite as kooky as Tyler Oakley, but I think you’d be surprised what kind of doors open for you when you embrace your own unique humanness.
You’d never know from watching his videos that Tyler ever had a bad day, but on occasion, he alludes to some of his struggles and offers snippets of hope for those of us going through bad times. Just the other day he posted a photo on social media with the caption, “Hi friends here’s a selfie, hope this moment RIGHT NOW is a good one for you, if it’s not ideal or even if it’s [expletive], tomorrow might be great, and I think that’s worth sticking around for.” These words have resounding meaning to so many people. They offer hope for a better tomorrow and an inspiration to make
something of each day. Unlike so many celebrities, Tyler routinely shows that he truly does give a care for others—his “family” as he calls his fans. And that means something…at least it does to me.
So as you go about your days, remember how valuable this thing called life is. If you haven’t already, I’d seriously recommend watching some of the videos on the lightheartedly quirky Tyler Oakley channel on YouTube. You might roll your eyes, you might be entertained, but most exciting of all, you might just smile. That’s worth something because no matter how rainy the day, we all have a reason to smile, and Tyler Oakley just might be able to make your day a little better.