Changing clothes for P.E. should not always be necessary

People work out in a gym wearing proper attire for their activity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today

People work out in a gym wearing proper attire for their activity.

Chelsea Strober '21

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The bell rings and it is time for me to leave math class and head to P.E. I speed walk to the locker room, dodging anyone in my way. Getting into my change of clothes and making it to class on time is my priority. I arrive, change into a whole new outfit, and make my way to where my class is meeting only to find out that I rushed to change for ping-pong: a game that I know does not require athletic wear. When class ends, I repeat this grueling process once again and hope I arrive to my next class on time.

Having to change into more “athletic” clothing for P.E. class is a common inconvenience that students experience throughout the school. These outfit changes that usually take at least 5 minutes often cause students to arrive late to their classes, which can result in their grade being lowered.

To make matters worse,  sometimes the outfit switch is completely unnecessary in the first place. For example, many P.E. classes have been participating in activities such as table tennis and archery, leaving students infuriated that they are still given no choice but to change.

Because classes normally focus on one activity for at least a few days, it would benefit students if teachers informed their classes when they are doing activities that should not require a change in clothes. A few days with a little less stress means more to high schoolers than one would think.

While I am bothered by the obligatory changing of clothes for P.E., I do understand why I have to change when the activities planned for class involve running, extensive movement or when the activity is outdoors. I also recognize that it could be frustrating for teachers to have to tell their classes if they need to change when it is easier for them to have their classes do it every time.

However, I find it completely unreasonable that students should have to change for activities that require little to no movement. The stress that comes along with changing for P.E. class generates additional anxiety for students, so having some days off from this once in a while could benefit them.

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