Bye-bye Hockaday, Bye-bye P.E. Requirement

Some college bound-bound seniors decide to continue physical activity in the gym while others will stay active on the field

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH Students debate which physical activities to participate in college. Illustration by Amy

Seniors will leave behind not only their classmates, hometown and favorite local hangouts when they head to college this fall, but will also depart from their Hockaday physical education requirement.
A large portion of the senior class plans to take advantage of this new-found freedom by hitting up the gym as their main source of athletic activity. Forty-nine percent of seniors say that their primary source of exercise will be gym workouts, according to a survey taken of 31 seniors last month.
Why are so many girls settling for the gym? Well, the better question is why not?
Senior Hannah, a self-proclaimed non-athlete, believes that there are significant benefits to not playing a sport in college. “There’s definitely more free time. Plus, the teams travel all the time so there are a lot of weekend commitments, [for sports,]” she said.
Senior Rachel also acknowledges the benefits of keeping athletic activity limited to the gym in college.
“I don’t want to cut myself off from people, so I think I’m going to try and go to the gym and get involved, so I can put myself out there and get to know people,” she said.
Seventeen percent of seniors polled, however, have found alternative ways to keep themselves busy: intramural sports and exercise activities.
“I might do intramural quidditch. I saw them practicing and it looks like a lot of fun.” Hannah said. Other popular choices include dance classes and yoga.
Although Rachel will participate in intramural activities, she believes the main purpose of these activities is not exercise.
“These relaxed, non-competitive activities are a great way to stay active but are really aimed more at socializing,” she said.
Other seniors who wish to stay active in college plan on competing in either varsity or club sports, despite the additional time commitment. They understand that collegiate level athletes will present significant differences from high school athletics.
“It’ll definitely be higher intensity and so many different levels,” said senior Cailyn, who will be playing varsity volleyball at Connecticut College next fall.
There are, however, benefits to playing a competitive sport in college.
“One, it’s just a constant exercise…I don’t know if I would make the time to work out if I wasn’t forced to,” said Claire, who will be playing varsity field hockey at Washington & Lee in Lexington, Va. next fall. “I think it’s just a good experience that not a lot of people might get the chance to do.”
Reed, who will be playing club field hockey at University of Richmond, Va., looks forward most to the team-bonding aspect of playing a sport and “being part of the college community in a different way.”
“Going in there, you’re going to have friends to begin with because you’re on a team, whereas going in not playing a sport you don’t really have anyone,” said Hannah.
Hannah agrees with Reed that going to college knowing that a solid group of friends awaits may give one an extra boost of confidence.