Transparency Item: The Perspectives section of the Graphic is comprised of articles based on opinion. This is the opinion and perspective of the writer.
I grew up 20 minutes from the beach in North San Diego County.
Going to the beach has been on my list of hobbies for most of my life. It was such an integral part of my life that l often wondered what teenagers who lived in other areas did for fun.
I have some of my best memories swimming until sunset in the summers and jogging on the windy coast during the winters.
Fortunately, these memories did not have to end because I chose to attend Pepperdine; however, I began to view the beach in a different way.
When I first toured Pepperdine during my junior year of high school, it seemed unreal. I remember laughing as I drove up to campus because I could not fathom such a scenic location for a university.
However, the first time I visited home after becoming a Pepperdine student, I went to my local beach in Carlsbad. As I ran my usual route, I appreciated the scenery in a different way.
When I looked out upon the ocean, it didn’t look dissimilar to Malibu. In fact, it looked very similar. The place that I had been in awe over was almost exactly identical to my own hometown.
This realization helped me understand the benefits I had been taking for granted about living by the ocean. It provides physical, mental and community growth.
These benefits are easily taken advantage of as Pepperdine students. While the view is always accessible, it is easy to overlook its beauty and benefits to our lives.
Beaches Provide a Sense of Community
As I mentioned earlier, the beach was the primary activity I did with my high school friends. Whether it was going surfing, taking walks or simply tanning, the beach was a wonderful way to connect with peers.
The beach is also simply a popular place for community members to assemble.
When running along the beach, I frequently smile and wave at strangers passing by. This instills values of unity and friendliness within my neighborhood.
Beaches Boost Physical Health
When I am by the ocean, there is a scenic setting for a variety of activities. Water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, swimming and kayaking are made easy on the beach.
Many people choose to exercise in various forms such as running, walking, doing yoga or doing calisthenics by the ocean.
The beach also often has an abundance of sun. When taking proper precautions such as applying sunscreen, Vitamin D from the sun increases the absorption of calcium in the gut, reduces inflammation and promotes cell growth, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The saltwater in the ocean also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium which can increase relaxation, decrease inflammation and assist skin health, according to Business Insider.
Beaches are Affordable and Accessible
One of the main reasons going to the beach is my favorite social activity is because it is free. Other popular pastimes such as going to restaurants, shopping or going to an event can add up in costs.
Pepperdine students are especially lucky to have the ocean so close because college students are more likely to have an unsteady source of income, according to Ohio State University.
The lack of cost also makes the beach an accessible hobby. While pastimes such as sports can be limited to those wealthy enough to afford the necessary gear, the beach is free for everyone to visit.
Although the price of living by the ocean is high, it can save people from spending money on other activities.
Beaches Lead to a Higher Quality of Life
All of these benefits demonstrate why living by the water is enjoyable, and it also seems to lead to a higher quality of life.
People who live near the ocean report higher levels of happiness compared to those living in an urban environment, according to The Guardian.
All of this being said, I understand that some people do not have the financial means to live close to the ocean. Coastal cities in southern California are some of the most expensive areas to live in the US, according to KTVU News.
Since these costs are so high, Pepperdine students should take advantage of the University’s location as much as possible.
Follow the Graphic on X: @PeppGraphic
Contact Caitlin Murray via email: email@example.com or by Instagram: @caitlin_murray36