The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Ever since I was a young kid, I have loved experiences that made me feel alive – not just living, but alive. I have always sought out these moments. The summer before my senior year of high school I turned 18 and skydiving became something where if I wanted to do it, I could. A couple weeks after my birthday, my mom and I were headed down to meet family and friends in Florida. Right before we left for our trip, I told my mom my plan to sign up for a tandem skydive. My mom understood right away why this was something I felt like I needed to do but (being the military kid that she is) told me that I could only go if I went with retired military paratroopers. Luckily for us, there was a skydiving company right on the border of Florida and Alabama that only employed such individuals. In an amazing coincidence, my mom had actually been given a tandem skydive for her own 18th birthday but never actually went due to multiple weather cancelations. Ever the adventurer herself, she surprised me by saying that she would be joining me on the skydive and jumping as well. Although I had some fear stemming from the (rare!) stories in the media about skydives gone horrifically wrong, I was predominantly excited to share this moment with my mom. I will never forget that feeling as my mom and I, plus our two paratroopers, crammed into the tiniest plane I have ever seen and slowly gained altitude. The mixture of adrenaline, terror, and joy was invigorating. I told my mom that I would need to jump first, because I wasn’t sure that if I saw her fall I would be able to go myself. Swinging my legs over the side of our plane and hearing 3-2-1 in my ears changed everything for me. As I experienced free fall, the only thoughts in my head were exclamations of awe over how beautiful our world is. Deploying the parachute and seeing the ground below me come slowly closer, I knew I had just undergone something I would remember for the rest of my life.
So why do I look back on my experience so fondly and hope others can have the same one? I didn’t realize until after I went just how impactful skydiving would be for me. Here’s how skydiving can change your life:
- Skydiving helps you get over fear.
After free-falling from ten thousand feet up in the sky, other fears you have in your life truly do seem less daunting. When you conquer the very physically and mentally challenging fear of jumping out of a plane, things that used to scare you seem so much more manageable.
- Skydiving boosts your confidence.
Going hand-in-hand with getting over fear, skydiving boosts your confidence in your abilities and assets. Accomplishing such an intimidating feat makes you feel more self-assured in who you are as an individual taking on the world. The mindset of “I was able to jump out of a plane, so I know I can do X, Y, Z” is powerful.
- Skydiving helps you gain perspective in a unique way.
This is perhaps what’s benefitted me the most. There’s something very different about seeing the world from that high up in such a free way versus in the confines of a commercial passenger plane. Seeing the world from that high up while feeling the wind rushing at you and the clouds on your skin is quite moving. Suddenly, whatever is going on in your life seems so beautifully small and insignificant. This mentality continues to impact me today when I need to remember that the world from a birds-eye view is unconcerned with the minutiae of a bad day or hard time.
- And of course, it’s about the most fun you can possibly have.
There’s really nothing that compares to just how fun skydiving is. I can almost guarantee that you will want to go again right after you land.
I truly hope everyone can know what it feels like to see the world at that vantage point. I credit my time skydiving as being a catalyst for other experiences in my life where I have had to dive in and not look back in fear. I could not be more grateful for what it taught me and I can’t wait to go again one day.
Note: of course, only do this activity under the supervision of licensed professionals. Stay safe and have fun.