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I Went Scuba Diving For The First Time, And Here’s Why You Should Try It

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

During this semester’s spring break, I got the opportunity to go scuba diving off the coast of Mexico. As an adventure junkie with a love for anything water related, I was immediately in for the experience and so excited. Unlike other adventurous activities I have tried as a beginner, scuba diving has many rules to learn before you can do it, and for this excursion, you have to learn pretty fast. The whole experience was invigorating, empowering, and terrifying, and overall an unforgettable achievement. Here are all the reasons I think you should go scuba diving, along with tips from my personal experience.

Although most people are familiar with swimming and snorkeling, scuba diving requires a whole new mindset and approach. First off, you’re about to have a ton of gear on your back that will take getting used to. And as cool as it is to breathe underwater, it goes against just about every instinct in your body. While snorkeling provides the feeling of breathing underwater, you can pop your head up at any time and breathe fresh air. However, when you’re scuba diving, you cannot shoot back up to the surface when you feel like you need air, and you have to be prepared to handle any issues you encounter underwater. Because of this, it’s crucial to find an informative class that will instruct you on how to breathe properly, recover from losing your air regulator, and maintain your calm underwater. 

After we were given the necessary safety instructions, the group got to practice in the pool to get used to the feeling of the gear and use the scuba equipment before entering the ocean. Then, we hopped on a boat and rode out onto the water, dropping a buoy line at our destination. Each diver hopped into the water, then slowly worked their way down the rope, popping their ears to pressurize them as they traveled deeper into the ocean. Once at the bottom, we were ready to explore everything under the sea! I truly felt like Ariel, only with way more gear and a huge mask. 

As we swam, we got to visit an underwater museum full of statues and sea life, and even an old car. The statues were surrounded by schools of fish, and we even got to see a stingray gliding peacefully through the water. We explored reefs and got a small glimpse of life under the sea, and I can confirm that it looks just like Finding Nemo. All the while, the desire to panic still creeps in. You could be surrounded by the most gorgeous reefs and fish yet still wish you could rise to the surface because the whole thing feels so unnatural.

Scuba diving was an amazing experience with incredible scenery, but what surprised me most was the mental challenge involved, along with the sense of accomplishment afterward. The whole thing required a “mind over matter” approach, where you’re consistently reminding yourself to avoid freaking out even though you’re 30 feet underwater, breathing out of a tiny tube, and cannot safely rise to the surface quickly. The key to scuba diving is to remind yourself to keep breathing no matter what and soak up every minute of the experience. And hey, if you can breathe on the ocean floor, what can’t you do?

Hi, I’m Hannah! I am a junior at Grand Canyon University, and I am studying Professional Writing for New Media as my major, with a minor in Dance. I have a passion for writing and journalism, and I love the self-expression that writing allows. I am originally from Seattle, Washington, and was homeschooled my whole life. I competed on a dance team throughout high school, and dance continues to be my main passion. Moving my body and creating choreography is a refreshing emotional outlet and results in artistry that constantly changes and feeds my passion. As a Pacific Northwest native, I’m virtually required to love everything that has to do with the outdoors. Whether it is hiking, swimming, backpacking, climbing, or watersports like wakeboarding and wake surfing, count me in! I am highly passionate about nature and sustainability because I love Mother Earth and want to do everything I can to give back!