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Stephanie Schechter: Mermaid or Surfer?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

“You go to UCSB? Have you ever surfed before?” This is a question that not every student can say yes to, but Stephanie quietly laughs at before answering.

It seems like this girl is always in the water. And if you’ve seen her with her pink and green watermelon log, or if you have seen her Instagram account by any chance, you would agree. Stephanie is currently a first-year Pre-Communication major at UCSB, is obsessed with dogs, and can pull off bright pink lipstick around campus on any casual day – but she’s much more famous than that. She has been surfing competitively since she was almost eight years old, and continues to surf on the UCSB Surf Team (on the men’s longboard team, since there is no women’s longboard division) as well as in several pro contests throughout California.
How old were you when you started surfing, and why did you decide to pick it up?
I have been surfing my whole life; as a toddler my dad would bring me out with him on his board. I guess at that point it wasn’t really a decision to “pick it up,” but I did love it immediately and decided to keep up with it as I got older! I got my first board when I was around six, and I started competing when I was almost eight. 
What are some good surf spots around UCSB that you usually go to?
Well, my dorm is right across the road from Campus Point. So I usually surf there, or at the breaks just down the beach from the point. I sometimes make the trek over to Isla Vista and surf Deveraux or Sands, but I think I’ll be there more often next year when I live right there. 
Are you sponsored? Who are you sponsored by?
I am! I am sponsored by Kevin Connelly Surfboards, Captain Fin Company (for surfboard fins), Mäki Longboards Skateboards, and Hansen Surf Shop. I also promote a lot of different clothing companies, swimwear brands, and jewelry lines!
What is your favorite thing about surfing?
My favorite thing about surfing is being able to get away from the stresses of life for a little while. Even when the waves or small, or if I only have a half hour break, it is so wonderful to hop in the water and enjoy what I love. 
What is something that not many people know about you?
There is a common stereotype that all surfers are stoners, but this is for the most part very untrue. Serious surfers are athletes and respect their bodies, and harming our lungs and brains would be detrimental to our surfing abilities. Not many people know that I am part of a group called DFS, which stands for Drug Free Sports, and focuses on promoting a drug free lifestyle within the action sports community, especially surfing. 
What is your favorite thing about UCSB?
My favorite thing about UCSB is that we have the ability to get a world-class education while living right next to the ocean. Even when the waves are flat, I love swimming and paddling in the water, and running and collecting shells on the beach. 
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope to be working in the fields of either marketing or advertising, potentially within the surf industry. I want to continue surfing every day while pursuing my love of networking and being creative. 
Allison is a Global Studies major at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the Assistant Editor at Her Campus UCSB a contributor to the chapter's Instagram, @hercampusucsb. Allison believes that life is about balances, but that you can never have too many breakfast burritos. You can follow Allison's personal Instagram at @allycnco for life around Santa Barbara, good eats, and travels!
Rachel is a senior at UC Santa Barbara and studies Communication and Global Peace and Security. Rachel is from a small, beautiful town in southern California called Palos Verdes. However, Palos Verdes is just one of the many places Rachel has lived. Rachel spent her childhood moving and traveling all over the world, living in places such as Indianapolis, Indiana; Santiago, Chile; Vienna, Austria; and Orlando, Florida. Rachel has found her heart and her home in California, choosing to spend her college years in sunny Santa Barbara. However, Rachel continued her wanderlust when she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in Fall 2012. At UCSB, Rachel is an immensely dedicated and involved member of her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she held the positions of Panhellenic Delegate, Inter-Greek Counselor, Rho Gam, and a member of the Nominating Slate. Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is a passion of Rachel's, as she is their Social Media Coordinator as well as an active and proud member. As a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honors Society, Rachel is able to implement her prowess and affinity for communication and communication-related issues. When Rachel is not writing, participating in Kappa events, or volunteering, you can find her in the gym, on the soccer field, watching Modern Family, or cooking. Rachel's love for sports, food, and writing often times go hand-in-hand, as one may see in her weekly blogs. For the past two summers, Rachel has been freelance writing for the Los Angeles Times, and hopes to continue her career pursuit of journalism after she graduates. Rachel is elated to be a part of Her Campus's fabulous team and loves every moment of it!