PE class requires more opportunities


Graphic by Lily Hultgren '25

PE offers many activities, but not everyone enjoys all of them. There are some activities students would want to do more often, some they don’t want to do at all and some that haven’t even been done yet. However, for the most part, PE is limited to the activities specific to whatever course we are required to take.

It’s a groggy Monday morning when I walk into the school gymnasium with a leaping pulse even though we haven’t even started exercising yet. I attempt to take deep breaths to prepare myself for the roughly 30 to 45 minutes of anxiety inducing torture I am about to endure. I attempt to make myself as small as possible, so my peers, most of whom do at least one sport, don’t focus on how terrible I am. These are the feelings that I have been experiencing in almost every physical education class since elementary school. For me, and many others, PE has always been a major source of stress, which is why it should be more oriented towards the students’ liking.

Anyone who knows me will confirm that I am the least athletics-oriented person. I’ve never played any sports and will rarely move at a pace faster than a leisurely walk even if someone was chasing me. So, unsurprisingly, PE has never been my favorite class despite always having very accommodating and understanding teachers. 

A wider variety of classes offered, rather than the classes currently required, would allow everyone to do an activity they actually like or find useful. This would make PE so much more fun and worthwhile.

— Lily Hultgren '25

I have always wanted nothing more than to have the choice to take PE classes. However, my perspective completely changed last year when I took Freshman Mind and Body where for the first time I actually enjoyed PE class, and everyday I looked forward to going to the Fitness Center and doing activities such as going on the elliptical or treadmill. Taking this class made me realize it wasn’t PE itself that I didn’t like, it was the activities we were doing.

When I do activities I don’t enjoy, my lack of athletic ability, which has always been an insecurity, becomes painfully obvious to me. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I compare myself to them and get so overwhelmingly nervous about embarrassing myself. When I actually do an activity I like, I don’t feel as self conscious. Instead of comparing myself to others I focus on myself and I don’t pay attention to anyone else or worry about what others think of me.  

Trust me, activities like running and team sports are not everyone’s cup of tea. Doing these activities give me, and others, so much stress and anxiety that the class just seems like a waste of time. A wider variety of classes offered, rather than the classes currently required, would allow everyone to do an activity they actually like or find useful. This would make PE so much more fun and worthwhile

Enjoyment isn’t the only thing that can be gained from the class, PE also offers tons of other benefits that can really help students. According to the CDC, “when students get physical education, they can increase their level of physical activity, improve their grades and standardized test scores, and stay on-task in the classroom.” With all of these benefits, I think PE is a no brainer to have at Staples. Nevertheless, not everyone enjoys the same physical activities, which is why there should be a diversity of classes offered. This would allow everyone, no matter what form of exercise they enjoy, to benefit from the positive advantages of PE.