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Hands Up

I am earning my PE credit during my second term of college — by snowboarding.

At Dartmouth, physical education is part of our "distributive requirements," a variety of classes needed to graduate. I know what you're thinking — lame, right? Well, think again! A PE class at Dartmouth is nothing like your traditional high school course. You don't have to run laps, play a sport you don't like, or take a fitness test. Getting my PE credit has been one of the coolest things I have done at Dartmouth. I'm learning to snowboard, which is only one of the many fun courses available in the PE department. Plus, it has motivated me to get outside and stay active during winter.

So, how does this program work? Well, it's quite simple. At the start of each term when students pick their classes, they also get the opportunity to take a PE class of their choosing. There are classes in swimming, skiing, zumba, ice skating, and basically any sport you may be interested in. We need three credits to graduate, so you can change things up each term if you'd like. I plan on taking ice skating next spring, and maybe a fitness class down the road. The awesome thing about these classes is that they are very low-pressure. I have snowboarding class once a week on Saturdays, and can even miss up to three per term in exchange for two hours of self-practice – there's no excuse not to do it!

Another great thing about the PE program at Dartmouth is its affordability. Students receiving financial aid can receive discounts of 50% and 100% based on need. Thanks to this, I was able to take my snowboarding class, get a season pass at the skiway, and "rent" a snowboard from the Dartmouth Outing Club for free! This discount applies to all classes offered by the PE department, so there are no limits to what you learn during your college experience.

Lastly, you can choose to complete your PE credit by playing a varsity or club sport. I am also earning a credit from the Dartmouth Climbing Team this term, which is awesome because this is something I would do regardless of whether I receive credit for it.

So, if you get the chance, explore our physical education department and see if there is anything that piques your interest. PE classes are a great opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. 

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