1. The first step to becoming a scuba diver is to determine how serious your interest is. Will you dive in warm waters a few times a year at some pricey resorts or are you interested in hardcore cold water diving and exploring shipwrecks? It's important to ask yourself questions like these because you can enjoy diving without becoming certified.

2. You must not panic while scuba diving. Period. Whenever diving, you should always have a "buddy," someone who you'll stick next to, and who will watch over you while you watch over them. If your buddy has a problem, it's your responsibility to get someone (most likely the dive master) to help him or her. If you panic, your buddy might not get such help.

3. Don't be shy. Diving with a friend or loved one makes you feel safer because you pretty much can count on them to watch over you. So if you are a bit shy around people you don't know and don't feel comfortable being paired up with just anyone you meet on a dive boat (you really have to trust your buddy in what could be survival conditions and you may both have to breathe out of the same regulator if, God forbid, something disastrous happens), you might want to consider snorkeling instead.

4. Are you squeamish around sea creatures and plant life? Yes, it's true that you would rarely encounter things like sharks, barracudas, and piranhas, but how do you feel about jellyfish, slimy stingrays, and thick kelp forests? If you get all icked out by thoughts of sea crap floating into your face or swallowing sea water, you might be prone to getting "the squirmies." Again, not the best candidate for scuba diving.

5. If you are prone to getting seasick, don't go.

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