I had just gotten back to my cabin after our field lab when suddenly we heard a knock at the door. Someone had come to tell us that we were going swimming! Up until now, we could ‘swim,’ but it was more of a polar plunge. My cabin mates and I all quickly changed and ran over to the quad where we were meeting up with everyone that was going down to the waterfront to swim.
First we went to Packout, the place where all of the outdoor gear is stored, and got our life jackets. It was still cold, so it was an important part to keep us safe. They also made it so that I could just float and look at the sky.
Next, we all ran down to the waterfront accompanied by one of the campus dogs. There were so many of us that we had to split the group into two waves. I was in the first wave, so I got to feel the frigid water before most other people. There’s a platform that you can jump from that extends past the edge of the dock, and so a few people ran off of it, and then it was my turn.
I did a little run and then jumped off. I hadn’t done anything like this in so long because of the temperatures, so this was amazing. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I kept thinking about how cold the water was going to be, and at first it was freezing, but the longer I stayed in, the more comfortable I felt. I had to get out soon to let other people have a turn, but I jumped off a few more times, and each time was even more fun than the last. We even got the dog to jump in at the end! Knowing that I can have fun even when I’m nervous has helped me to be less afraid when trying new things.
Julia Larish, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ