By Stella, 16, Northern California
Back in February, waking up at 6:30 A.M. was a given, that was when I needed to be awake if I wanted to have enough time in the morning to get ready for school. And because I’m a teenager, I absolutely hated it. No one, at least no one I know, voluntarily dragged themselves out of bed while half asleep, and was happy about it. But now, in these far from “normal” times, waking up that early is a blessing for me.
For me, the start of quarantine days looked like sleeping in, sitting around the house all day in sweatpants, and basically just doing nothing and not being productive in the slightest. And after a few weeks of this, I was bored out of my mind.
I’ve known how to surf since I was around eight or nine, but never actually did it on a daily basis. Maybe a few days in the summer, if that. So this past year, I made it my goal to surf as much as possible, and I quickly realized that goal would be extremely easy to fulfill. I faced the rough and rather freezing waters of northern California and turned the windy and cold beaches that I used to hate years ago into beaches I can’t wait to surf at. Some of my friends became interested and the majority of my sophomore year was spent in the water, laughing and catching waves with my friends, right up until mid-March.
During these unusual times surfing has brought peace to my life, and also some structure to my daily routine. I am now waking up as if I was going to school, and even just surfing for an hour or so makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something in my day.
Sure, surfing is way more fun with friends, but it brings a whole different meaning to the word peace when you’re out there alone. Surfing is a very individual sport, and you’re usually sitting five to ten feet away from the next guy in the lineup, so really, it’s just you and you’re thoughts. Going early in the morning is my preference, where not many people are out, compared to the insanely crowded beach and millions of surfers paddling out around noon. In the morning, the water is calm, and it’s quiet. Not the type of quiet where you can hear a pin drop, but quiet in that the only noises surrounding you are the seagulls passing by, the waves crashing on the beach, or the swishing of the water from your legs moving around. And this quiet lets me just think, and sometimes just sitting out in the water, thinking, is the best way to clear your mind from the noise in our world, especially right now, or at least for me it is.