Aaron is a fourth-year English major and the Copywriter for the Student Recreation Center

Just imagine it. You look over and all you see is a vast body of freezing cold water. You’re stripped down bare to your swimsuit, reluctantly ready to jump. One toe goes in and you start to feel the frigid cold water reverberate throughout your body. Though this frosty sensation causes you to harbor hesitation, you feel a spark of exhilaration. Curiosity has pushed you into overdrive, and potent feelings of excitement have begun to overtake your fear. Keeping all of these emotions in mind, this is your chance to dive into our R’Polar Plunge event, held on Valentine’s Eve! Other than challenging your sweetheart or squashing beef with your significant other, this event has the power to make waves in the community.

Two words define the potential impact of this event: charity and culture. Polar Plunges are a worldwide phenomenon, typically held at bodies of water in low temperatures. Countries such as South Korea, Canada, the United States, the Netherlands and more are known for their wide scale plunges. Each country takes their own spin on the event, all with different purposes and goals in mind. For example, Canada typically holds polar bear swims nationwide to celebrate the New Year, with the tradition dating all the way back to 1920. The Netherlands also participates in 30,000 person plunges around the New Year, calling it “Nieuwjaarsduik,” which is literally translated as “New Year’s Dive.” No matter the purpose, polar plunge events are widely popular and display the capability of people to collaborate for the sake of tradition and give back to the community.

You’re poolside and you think to yourself, “I’m here, I committed, I have to do this.” Dozens of people surround you, all taking part in the same event in the name of charity. “It’s for a good cause”, you say to yourself. Finally, you crouch down and leap off the side, splashing into the icy body of water and plunging into our very own spa. Though freezing, the good vibes and the rewarding feeling of helping out others washes over your soul.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Feb. 13, 4-6 p.m., at the Student Recreation Center. The SRC is holding the first annual R’Polar Plunge! Come and take a splash into our freezing spa or donate five canned food items and receive an exclusive, one-of-a-kind giveaway. Not only is this event fun and free, but these canned food items are donated to fellow UCR students that are in need and are suffering from food insecurity. Challenge your fellow sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, cultural club peers, dorm mates and more to come and support this event! Our very own Chef Val will be on deck to warm you up with hot chocolate, water and cookies. Come and participate in a rich, cultural event while donating to a special cause! Or just do it for the gram.