Mandatory or elective? Outlooks that matter with physical education


Photo Credit: Photo via The Declaration Staff under the Creative Common License

Colonia High Schools gym looking bright and shiny, perfect for kids who are looking to wake up a little by exercising!

By: Hillary Wolanski, Fall reporter

Physical Education at Colonia High School is a required class you must take for all four years of your high school career. The class will either be a semester long or you can have it a full year on every other school day.

As of now, phys-ed is a required class that all students must take. In this class you play multiple sports and activities such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, walking, and many more. Many people enjoy gym class while others may have mixed opinions.


Physical education has many pros including receiving the daily exercise you need. It is also supposed to help your body improve on your coordination skills for future use. Gym class also helps you mentally with self-esteem.

Photo Credit: Photo via The Declaration Staff
Gym students of first block playing a competitive round of volleyball.

During this class, when you are exercising, the body produces endorphins. Endorphins are basically “feel good” hormones. These hormones after playing will most likely give you a positive and outgoing outlook for the day.

Kelly Branco, Senior and Art & Music Editor of Colonia High School, has a different opinion. “I just think that people don’t try in gym. If you don’t try, how are you supposed to improve your skills? People don’t try and it just doesn’t do anything. Like, you are there in gym class, but you still aren’t getting anything out of it.”

Most schools while making phys-ed mandatory, also make health class mandatory too which is great. It helps students learn more about the body and teach us health issues that we may not have known about before.

Another positive is that physical education is one of the only classes in the day where the student can be more social and not sit in a desk for the full hour of class. This allows and engages the student to be more interactive with other students. When students work with other students it demonstrates and teaches them both teamwork and sportsmanship, active traits that will definitely be used by the students in their future.


The negatives of gym class include competitiveness and all-together difficulty for some. When gym teachers push and pressure students it will start to weaken there performance more. Phys-ed also takes energy out of most students, if they’re pushed to hard.

Most of the time this doesn’t happen, but physical education is a way to receive an injury. It’s happened before, but nowadays and the older you get the less you get injured.

If phys-ed was only a requirement for two years, the other two years could be put towards more interesting electives. Instead of taking or wasting your time in gym it could be used to help determine your future. Such as more college prep classes or SAT classes. You may even could take an elective you want to pursue in your future such as psychology or baking. Whatever you may want to be or do in the future should not be held back by a required elective.

Branco responded to this saying “I feel as if you don’t have gym senior year, you can put it to better things. Doing a good elective such as a community service class which would do so much more for the community then just having seniors sit around. I was really into sports my freshman, sophomore, and junior year, but my senior year I could care less.”

This goes both ways, but playing gym can distract you from school and/or schoolwork for a period of time. It depends on whether you would like to forget about your works or not.


Some high school athletes say that gym class gets in the way of their sports. Jack Reilly and Chris Waldron, both sophomore athletes at Colonia High School, don’t believe that it’s an interruption. “No I don’t feel that it gets in the way. If you have a sports game then maybe you can just take it easy for gym. It’s not that much work anyways,” said Waldron.

“If you have a game you’re not gonna try that hard in gym cause it’s not that important. You just need to participate to get a good grade,” said Reilly.

Participation is often a main factor of gym class. If you participate and show that you care, you often get a good grade. This makes the class much easier for some more than others.


In 2016, only 44 states made physical education mandatory in high school. Is this fair? Do you feel as if Colonia High School should make physical education an elective? Should it be mandatory?