P.E. classes aren’t going to help me in the future


Chris Christenson

Physical education classes gives students the opportunity to try out different exercises. Photo credit: Chris Christenson

Most college students want to get in and get out of school. They want to get into their fields of interest and start their careers to get their futures going as soon as possible. The only thing you have to do is complete your degree requirements. Seems simple enough right?

Counselors tell you that you need to take this, that, and so on to graduate. So you sign up for classes without a second thought. But what if we took a second and actually did think about it? Why are these specific classes required for us to graduate?

To obtain at least an Associate in Arts degree or Associate in Science degree, you need to complete a minimum of 60 units. Those units consist of the following: 19 units in General Education, 18 units in the major of your choice, three units in Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, six units in American History and Institutions, two activity courses in physical education and 12 units of general electives.

As students near the end of their last semester at Skyline, they cannot help but think about all the time and money they have spent on classes here. Students cannot help but wonder, was it all worth it? Will the classes they were forced to take truly help them later on?

Will the physical education courses we are required to take actually be resourceful? Honestly, why are we required to take not one, but two PE classes? Why is it required for us to learn about badminton or archery or whatever to get a degree? How will this help us in our careers?

Sure, it could be handy to know that the little feather thing they are hitting in badminton is called a shuttlecock. But how does this help me in the future? The bottom line is: it does not.

Now do not get me wrong, it is great that Skyline offers so many different PE classes. From ballet to archery, to flag football, Skyline has it all. A student who is trying to get in shape has easy access to fitness classes and that is perfect.

However, there is no point in having these classes be a requirement to obtain a degree. You are not only spending money to take these classes, but you are spending your time. We could be using this time to take a more beneficial class.

For example, there should be a class that teaches you what a 401(k) is and when you should start getting one. Better yet, classes that teach you how to apply for a loan, what the difference between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA are and how to file your taxes would all beneficial classes to take instead of P.E. Are there any classes that could replace these P.E. requirements?

Students need a class that aims to help you in the future. We are not talking about months or years from now, rather decades from now. Are you ready for that? What about a class that teaches you how to save for retirement? According to a 2015 study done by the Government Accountability Office, 29% of Americans 55-years-old and older do not have a retirement plan set up.

The bottom line is we spend so much time, money and effort in the classes here in attempt to reach our goals. The classes we are required to take that have nothing to do with our general education or major should truly be helpful and beneficial to our futures. Otherwise, why are we taking them?