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Freshman Swimming: Expectation Versus Reality

As Westport is located right on a beach, I find it hard to imagine that many Staples students are unable to swim. So why make it mandatory for everybody to swim at school?

I can’t keep count of all the people who have told me about their creative ways to get out of swimming in P.E. freshman and sophomore year.

“Oh, I’ll just pretend I have eczema,” or “My mom will write me a note,” they say. I hardly doubt that they are all telling the truth.

Although I can relate, considering how terrified I was. How would I leave my hair unstraightened for weeks on end? Are the locker rooms clean?

I remember at the very first freshman orientation last year, I left only remembering one thing, “Everyone will be required to participate in half a quarter of swimming.”

My jaw dropped, and I immediately began scheming ways to get excused from it. Last week, the time had finally come. The moment I have been dreading ever since last year.

It was Monday morning. Bright and early, my friends and I walked into the locker room on our tiptoes, trying to avoid stepping in the large clumps of hair that are left on the floor. We were scared. Would it really be as bad as we thought?

Although changing into bathing suits, and the difficult locker situation made us believe that awful thoughts would be true, we started to actually enjoy ourselves. The actual swimming part of the class isn’t that bad.

Once we thought about it, we all realized we would rather be swimming than doing some of the other activities we did in P.E. earlier in the year.

I think we can all agree that swimming isn’t the greatest. There isn’t always enough time to completely shower, and after swimming everyone smells like chlorine in class. But, if the reason why we all have to swim is for our general safety, then I guess it’s worth it to suffer for a couple weeks.

However, I think there is a better alternative, that is, a swim test. Why can’t we be tested on the first day of class to make sure we all know the basics of swimming such as treading water and freestyle?

As long as you pass then I think there is no need to take the course. Overall, I can honestly say that all the horror stories about freshman swimming are much worse than the course actually is.


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About the Contributor
Larissa Lieberson, Director of Social Media
“I love thrill seeking. Going down a roller coaster, trying new things, taking risks,” Larissa Lieberson ’15 said. Well, high school is all about trying new things, whether it’s Kool to be Kind, community service, or student ambassador, Lieberson has worked all ends of Staples’ spectrum of activities. This year, however, Lieberson will tackle a new role: Social Media Managing Editor. Her goals are to extend social media beyond the normal high school paper. She wants to give a voice to every person in the school. To let them know that they have a say in what they want to hear, or what they want to see publicized; and to make us feel more involved as a community. Lieberson prides herself in her ability to get work done, so there is no doubt in her mind that she will lay the new foundation for social media at Staples with big strides. Inklings has helped her to grow up throughout high school. Looking back, as a senior, she recalls how much she has grown up since freshman year. How there are so many things that she would not have even known if it weren’t for Inklings. “High school is a learning place. Staples lets you become who you are, in such a welcoming, open environment,” she said. But before Lieberson takes her final exit, she wants to repay Inklings for allowing her to feel so connected to Staples, by spreading this news to everyone over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although she has no idea what she where the years ahead may take her. Lieberson is grateful for her time at Staples and is excited to hop on the next roller coaster of senior year and ride out the rest of her time here on the paper.  

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  • V

    Venus WilliamsDec 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Swimming isn’t that bad. It is just annoying having to change, having to bring your stuff EVERYDAY, and smell like chlorine.

  • A

    Amateur swimmerDec 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    As much as freshman swimming may suck, we’ve all been through. Grin and bear because they’re not gonna make some kids swim and some not. Swimming is merely a part of Staples and as long as we have a pool, and a locker room with working showers, it will continue.