The Swimming Unit — the worst part of freshman year

Alyssa Deplaris

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Alyssa Deplaris

The painful pool that students are forced to enter during gym class.

Walking into freshman year, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I would have to swim in gym class. The swimming unit is an unnecessary and commonly shared dread amongst many students at DGS, causing physical and emotional pain. The freezing iceberg waters, tight swim caps and sticky locker rooms are the last obstacles I want to encounter in the middle of the day.

The swimming unit makes students self-conscious due to the attire individuals are forced to wear. Girls are required to wear a one-piece swimsuit and boys have to wear male swim trunks. This attire can be exposing for individuals, which can make students feel uncomfortable around their peers. 

Wearing swimsuits at school amplifies body issues and makes students compare themselves to others. This causes students unnecessary emotional pain that could be avoided if swimming at DGS was not required. 

Many freshmen have become part of the walk of shame while hauling their swimsuits, towels and goggles to and from classes. Everyone knows they are exiting the pool of pain due to their wet hair and chlorine smell. The heavy swimming attire adds unnecessary weight to their already large freshmen backpack, which makes them look like they are ready to take off on a seven-day hike. 

Not to mention, the games we play are not enjoyable. The violent sports result in students half drowning while attempting to receive participation points. 

I am a victim of someone who was stuck under a pile of students while playing horrendous games like gravestone and water polo. I have received many scratches and bruises from students who were fighting for their lives trying to strangle me for the ball. I even heard a girl scream that someone bit her. 

The swim unit is turning students of DGS into animals. 

Some may argue that the water is refreshing and that swimming gives them a change of pace in their gym class, but nothing about the DGS pool is refreshing. The clumps of floating hair and high chlorinated waters makes me feel like I am swimming in a toddler pool. Not to mention, hundreds of students have been swimming in the pool throughout the day, which is pretty disgusting to me. 

Swimming is not a requirement for physical education in the states. I know many schools do not require the swim unit as a gym credit, so DGS is not required to put their students through the struggle of swimming. 

The swimming unit should be an optional requirement for students who enjoy the pool and are motivated to swim. I think this would make people more comfortable in gym class and avoid confidence issues.

If swimming was no longer a DGS gym requirement, students would not have to experience the emotional and physical pain that the unit creates. I wish the best of luck to all freshmen and sophomores who are treading through the long weeks of swimming.