“Get out of your comfort zone! Try new things!” I’ve always thought of these tired phrases as the most generic pieces of college advice, not one of those useful gems like “buy a lot of underwear so that you can maximize time between loads of laundry” or “don’t take an 8 AM class.” However, in the last couple weeks, I really have tried something completely new. I started diving.
As of now, I’ve been to a total of 5 diving practices with the Pomona-Pitzer team. Having never dived before (and I mean not even off the side of the pool), I very spontaneously decided to start learning. Because why not? Anyone can join, it’s free, and if nothing else, I’d at least learn something new. So last week, with encouragement from some friends on the swim team and another friend who’d joined the dive team a few weeks ago, I went to my first dive practice!
At first, I was pretty unsure. My schedule was already jam-packed and diving was 7-9 PM, five days a week. Plus, what was I even doing at dive practice? I couldn’t even do a simple front dive and I was practicing with people who competed in this sport. I went in thinking I would try it for a week and then re-evaluate.
However, after attending a few practices and conquering a couple dives (and a lot of fear), I realized that I really, truly enjoyed it. The physical act of hurling my body headfirst into the water, yes, but also doing something completely new. It’s refreshing to start learning something from the very, very beginning. It’s refreshing to be scared, and even to panic and fall on my face (literally, guys). And it’s certainly refreshing to successfully complete a dive! It’s nice to take a break from academics and focus on a more physical challenge. And after settling into a college routine for almost a year and a half, I love being in a new place and seeing new faces.
I don’t know how far my diving career will take me, but as of now, I’m having a great time learning! I’m definitely glad I took advantage of this opportunity, because honestly, where else besides college could I just start learning a new sport so easily and conveniently?
As generic as it is, college is one of the best times to try new things. What better time to start learning something brand new, whether it’s a sport, a language, an instrument, or a skill? We come to college so ready to learn the advanced stuff, to become experts in a field, to wow people with what we already know, but it’s also incredibly valuable to step back and learn something from the very start.