What’s Wrong With “[email protected]#! it, we ball,” and Why Its Growth is Concerning

Find out the worry with the philosophy of “%**! it, we ball,” and why living by the term can damaging to anyone.


Lauren Koch

John Weigel is the opinion editor for The Little Hawk.

John Weigel, Opinion Editor

Recently popularized through the social media app TikTok, the phrase “#!&# it, we ball” has been used among many young adolescents (typically male) as a new life mantra. The phrase has been used across other social media platforms and in my own experience, I have heard the term used on whim at an attempt of motivation or for the sake of it. I’ve heard it used with a disregard for mental and physical health, to just ‘continue on because screw it.’

The truth behind the term lies deeper in its meaning. The top definition of “[email protected]#$ it we ball,” on the Urban Dictionary defines it as: “My life is in utter disarray, yet in spite of that, in spite of every set back I must face, I will rise to the occasion at any opportunity. For my past may have led to my present situation but my present actions will shape my future. The next events will either be legendary or disastrous. Failure is no longer an option, the ball has hit the ground and now the only option is to bounce back or die trying.” This definition causes some misconception about what it actually means; some conflicting struggle for when the phrase has been used and according to this definition, while at the same time contradictory claims within the definition. In truth, the phrase does not inspire motivation to bounce back, even when life seems to have fallen in disarray; instead it is an excuse to not care anymore, a phrase that can easily be thrown at any issue someone is facing. The term is used in the face of struggle: when someone is stuck running on two hours of sleep, struggling to sustain a positive mental health, falling into chaos, but must go on. It is a term that does not strike motivation or inspire someone to try and do better, even for their own sake, but instead allows them to ignore the most important matters at hand and just carry on. If someone is truly struggling with maintaining their own positive mental health, I feel as if one of the last things you should say to them is “%@$# it, we ball,” as this holds no true value or positive intent. (“X thing is going wrong, but ‘@%#$ it, we ball’.” Implies no intent of improvement or a way to ‘ball’, instead ‘X thing is going wrong, but screw it, I’ll continue on the same way regardless’.) 

To simply continue on without regard for the consequences of actions, words, or behavior is in itself unhealthy. To better a life of struggle, people must continue on with hope that it will get better, and an attitude to make it happen. By facing one problem head on at a time, and reaching out for help when it is necessary is how a life that has seemingly fallen into disarray can be improved. Improvement does not simply happen, nor does it happen by addressing problems by throwing the term “#&%$ it, we ball” at it and continuing on with the same broken pattern. 

The term has been popularized among our generation of impressionable teenagers seemingly as the new “yolo,” a philosophy to continue with no plan or regard for yourself instead of facing problems with helpful solutions. This is deeply unnerving to me especially as schools, administrations, and other various resources have made large jumps to emphasize the importance of mental health, and to end the stigma that has once existed widely.