Skip to content
Create Account

My ‘So San Diego’ College Experience – Thanks to Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Paddling for university credit. Such a unique opportunity that changed my entire outlook on my college experience.

Absolutely love San Diego? Me too! That’s why when all of my friends were applying to colleges across the country three years ago, I applied to one: San Diego State University. While deciding to stay at home with Mom and Dad for four more years was less than ideal, it is exactly what I chose to do.  At the time I had no idea that decision would lead me to a totally unique college experience while discovering a passion for watersports and meeting some amazing people.

Being born and raised in San Diego, I really couldn’t imagine myself in any other city.  While the geography was familiar to me, adjusting to life as a college student was not. I walked onto campus with all the same fears most freshmen do.  The only difference for me was that while most other first year students were already creating bonds with people in their dorms, I was driving 30 minutes to get to campus every day and still hadn’t met many people. As I saw and heard others adjusting so much faster than me, I started to feel as though I was already missing out on the ‘college experience’.

Such a fun group of people to paddle with every week!

After a whole year of feeling like I was missing out on something, I finally found my happy place: Associated Students’ Mission Bay Aquatic Center. What?!  My school has a watersports center at the beach and I’m able to take watersport classes for a credit? Sign me up!  That semester I signed up for a paddleboarding class and never looked back. Through this semester-long class I found being on the water was not only a huge stress relief, but also an extremely fun way to get in a great workout while soaking up some Vitamin D. Aside from that, I met so many amazing people that I otherwise would not have crossed paths with.

There’s no better place to de-stress than on the water.

While you might think a 1 unit elective class couldn’t change your college experience, I am proof that it totally can.  My class on the water was definitely the highlight of every week. Not only did I learn a lot about myself that semester, like outdoor physical activity is crucial for being able to handle the stresses of school and life, but I walked away feeling more connected to my school. Some of the best university experiences occur outside the confines of classroom walls and having an opportunity to take a class in the Pacific Ocean is a unique opportunity that makes SDSU such an amazing school.  If I could give one piece of advice to every student in San Diego, it would be to take advantage of that while you have the chance!

SDSU students: Learn how to add a credit watersports class at or view the class schedule at

Paddle high five for my favorite instructor!

This article was written by Katie Wall, a sophomore studying Interior Design at SDSU. 


Join the conversation!
(Visited 593 times, 3 visits today)