Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Giving In Vs. Giving Up: The Time I Almost Drowned

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

One time, I almost drowned at the beach. To set the scene, it was really windy that day, and the waves were insane. I grew up in California so going to the beach was never something I really gave much thought to. I would swim with my friends all the time and I even used to take swimming lessons, so I knew everything about proper form, but I guess I never really learned how to tackle a wave.

I was probably 12 at the time and even 10 years later, I still don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of breathing in all that saltwater. But strangely enough, what stuck with me even more was what the wave showed me that day.

Going With The Flow

What I didn’t realize then was that I didn’t have to let the wave take me over. I was so intimidated by the sheer size and force of it that it didn’t even occur to me that I could just go under it (or swim through the turbulence).

As cheesy as it sounds, I didn’t realize that I could simply go with the flow instead. And 10 years later, I found myself reading into a Chinese philosophy called Taoism that, funnily enough, talks about the same idea. The philosophy is essentially a guide on how to live in harmony with the universe, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of nature metaphors embedded in it.

Truthfully, with final exams approaching, I think I’m starting to feel that water slowly rising again. But before leaving to get some more studying done, I wanted to share a Taoist quote that I really like with you all.

Known as the father of Taoism, Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher who long ago wrote, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Lao Tzu wrote this in 600 BC and I know you’re probably questioning why you should even care about what some old dead guy has to say, but somehow I think this view is even more relevant today, as modernity comes to bring more and more complications and complexities in the world.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at from all this is that we don’t have to give up in the face of adversity. All we really need to do is give in to the flow of life. It can be scary seeing things pile up but sometimes the best thing you can do is focus on the present moment with a clear mind and just ride the wave.

Sarah Min

UCSD '23

Sarah is currently studying Communication at the University of California, San Diego. A lover of music, coffee, art, and all things creative!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️