In Defense of the PE Requirement
Written by Bwog Staff
The PE Requirement is sometimes maligned as unfitting of Ivy League scholars, unfair to the ‘nonathletic’ and even downright unexplainable, a la the swim test. However, Bwog knows the true value of hitting the gym every now and then. Rather than one more unfair burden on the backs of the bright-eyed leaders of tomorrow, the PE Requirement is really a fantastic opportunity for growth! Conor Skelding tells us why.
The gym requirement is composed of two semesters of classes offered by the Physical Education Department. Without demanding too much time commitment, the P.E. requirement can be helpful beyond the extra credit you need to graduate.
Firstly, P.E. courses help to keep the non-athlete majority of us in some semblance of shape. Gym classes are a great way to get in a minimum number of workouts per week. And the benefits of staying in shape are legion! When I work out I feel better and my problems are less immediate. If I take a gym break rather than an internet break from studying and then return to my work, I return refocused and with new perspective. Also, when in shape I feel better and want to work out more, and when I work out more I keep off college weight. John Jay, you cannot touch me!
Moreover, like Napoleon Dynamite said, “girls like guys with skills.” Heteronormativity aside, this is true. I think. But I know gym classes can teach you new skills! How awesome is it that the opportunity exists to try rowing, judo or even scuba diving? Gym classes provide a venue for learning new things and truly broadening oneself. Who knows—you could be a natural sailor. So why not try it?
Also, one of the (ostensible) purposes of the Core is to produce well-rounded Columbians who can do all sorts of things. In that vein, the PE requirement is truly in line with the Core. As Juvenal wrote, we should aim for a mens sana in corpore sano. And anyone can attain that balance with work. You’re here, so (chances are) you’re capable scholastically. But are you comfortable with your physical abilities? Gym classes, in providing a break from graded class, provide a genuine “go ahead and try it” atmosphere. You can meet like-minded people and make new friends. You can find a workout buddy! You can have fun!
Also, taking gym classes gets you credits. Credits let you graduate. You can get up to four points of credit for gym classes, one point each term. That’s all of the above benefits plus scholastic benefits. Let’s face it, chances are that you can spare two hours a week from Facebook to get to Dodge, and it is a certainty that you’ll be all the better for it. When I see people simply sign in to my gym class and leave everyday, I feel bad. They’re seeing as burdensome something that is truly improving. Instead of slogging through PE, treat it as a gift.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons