Frozen Hair, a Training Belt and Embarrassment Is Not a Recipe for Success


photo courtesy of the AP

Swimming in PE shouldn’t be required due to students’ uncomfortable experiences.

Destiny Albrecht, Staff writer

Swimming in school is embarrassing and exhausting on so many levels, and it needs to change. 

Many students consider it to be a fun activity they do in the summer with their friends and family, and some even do it for a sport. It’s a great way to get in exercise, but all of these positive views fly out the window when physical education at school requires it as a part of your grade.

PE has a unit during freshman or sophomore year when students learn CPR as well as different swimming techniques in the pool at the aquatic center. Many kids have bad experiences with it, especially those who do not know how to swim.

It’s already embarrassing enough to go into the locker room, change in front of your peers, and swim in cold water at seven in the morning in a revealing bathing suit. It’s even more so for students who don’t know how to swim.

There are more students than we think who are unable to swim, so they are required to attach a blue training belt and do exercises in the middle of the pool with a separate coach from everyone else.

Not only is that putting the student in a spotlight, but they can’t focus because they are either too focused on what their peers think of them or their fear of not being able to swim.

This isn’t the only awkward experience to occur during the swimming unit. Many girls, being the exact age when puberty is hitting the most, have their menstrual cycles and need to sit out because they aren’t comfortable swimming at the time.

While it shouldn’t be embarrassing because it’s something that happens to all the girls, countless students feel ashamed that they have to sit out and everyone knows exactly what for.

For those students who are extremely shy around others, especially when it comes to difficult topics, they feel incredibly uncomfortable and judged during the swimming unit.

Another con that occurs during this time is walking back to the school in cold weather. The classes that choose to do the swimming lessons in the winter cause students to freeze on the walk back to the school.

Speaking from personal experience, because my hair was wet after swimming, it froze as I walked back to school to get to my next hour.

Not only is that a huge obstacle to overcome, but rushing to put on long sleeves and pants after an hour of swimming in cold water is a bad experience in and of itself.

While the school does supply buses for those who do not want to walk back, they take a pretty long time going over to the aquatic center, which can cause students to be late to their next class, and result in consequences.

Swimming should be reconsidered in the PE classes, administration making it optional would be better than no change. It’s not fair for most students and we shouldn’t be forced to complete this unit in order to get a good grade.