Throughout my time at university I held a proactive attitude, because I was constantly told by my parents and other graduates that, “university is the best time of your life.” I threw myself into all activities and events I could find. Going to university in one of the biggest cities in the UK, and more commonly known as, “the nicer London”, the city of Manchester, meant that there was an endless amount of things to do within the city, whether it cultural, musical, educational or physical.
My fresher’s welcome week sign up consisted of me being bleary eyed and hungover, stuffing my face with free pizza, and wondering around aimlessly in a daze stumbling from stall to stall signing up to anything that sounded interesting, or that I hadn’t tried before. This meant I was later flooded with emails from the Meditation society, Trampolining, Salsa, Dodgeball and many more that I did in fact, try out. However, one that really did throw me out of my comfort zone was the wakeboarding society.
The wakeboarding was held in Salford Quays, a short tram ride away from the city centre in a Water sports area where there was a zip line and some jumps. Seeing the wakeboarding generated by a zip line system gave me some relief, as when I was a child, my parents pushed my brother and I to try new things (a quest to see how talented we were and if they had genius’s on their hands), they thought they would make us try water-skiing. After spending an hour being unable to stand up in the water whilst being pulled along by a boat, gaining a face of sea salt in my eyes, mouth and nose constantly wishing it was over, I dreaded that wakeboarding would give a similar experience.
After being suited and booted I waited in Manchester October’s chilly air with anticipation. Watching the other boarders glide and slide seamlessly over the water, as if on snow, made wakeboarding look like an art, painting strokes on a canvas. Sam, the chair of the wakeboarding society, propelled in the air whilst on jumps and made me tremble in my wakeboarding boots. What was I getting myself into?
Being a snowboarder, I thought I would be at some advantage. However, when it came to my turn, I realised that wakeboarding is a completely different kettle of fish. For one thing you start immersed, not on top, and another, that although you may think the surface is flat, in actual case it is not. It can easily chop and change due to water getting caught in the board because of incorrect balance leading you to jolt to and fro, back and forth, and plunge headlong into the water. Which of course, I did, a number of times. I didn’t mind though. Each time I sank I knew why I sank and what I needed to do next, to keep me to stay up. It was a continuous learning curve that I loved.
After a number of goes, I finally made it to the standing position for the entire track, I was over the moon. Although a seemingly small achievement, for me it was massive. I, Victoria Carter, learnt how to wakeboard in about five minutes! How great is that? Wakeboarding, although completely throwing me at the start, made me appreciate how much fun it is to try something you have no clue about.
So why should you go try new things and opportunities? Well why the hell not? Recently I dyed my hair blonde. I have been asked numerous times by friends and family, why did you do it? Well why not? I’ve dyed it red, black and purple, why not blonde? Just like my first year at university, I wanted to try something new. And if I don’t like it, so what? Ill dye it back. It’s that experience of being blonde, it’s that experience of trying wakeboarding; it’s that experience of trying something new, which makes life that little bit more exciting.