Mountains, Dartmouth, Simon Ellis
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IM Soccer 19F

As someone who loves sports and the outdoors, I wasn't all that taken aback when I learned that Dartmouth students had to complete a physical education requirement as part of their time here. I was, however, very surprised to know that Dartmouth requires the equivalent of 3 PE classes at some point during your 4 years here. I was a little scared about trying to fit in 3 PE "classes" in addition to my regular rigorous class curriculum, but after having a meeting with my first-year dean, I realized that there are a lot of ways to get a PE credit that people might not consider! I wanted to share a few here to try and quell some anxieties you might be having about the PE requirement, and let you know how I satisfied mine in some non-traditional ways. 

One of the most fun ways (in my opinion) that you can get a PE credit is by leading a First-Year Trip! You can read mine (or any of my fellow bloggers) Trips posts (there are tons) if you want some more information on your freshman trip, but every year more than a hundred upperclass students come back to help lead Trips. I led two different hiking trips in my sophomore and junior year and got PE credits for both. While there was obviously the physical aspect of hiking, most of Trips was just getting to meet freshmen and experience the outdoors with new friends for almost a week. If the outdoors is not totally your thing, though, or if you're unsure about leading a freshman trip, I got PE credits from some other great places.

The Student Wellness Center is an office on campus that helps students stay happy and healthy in many ways, one of which is offering a term by term meditation and yoga course for students. In addition to being able to drop in for classes, you can come weekly to one yoga and one meditation class to receive credit. I wasn't sure that meditation would be something that would work for me or be very interesting, but I found that dropping in during a busy day was really useful for my mental health and the yoga helped me feel relaxed and loose from other workouts. 

In addition to these, you can take any of Dartmouth's PE courses, from learning how to cross country ski to practicing fly-fishing on the Green. A lot of students end up fulfilling their credits by accident or through some of the fun activities I mentioned above. I have also gotten credits from Wilderness First Aid classes, cabin overnights, and club sports. If you're not that athletic, you shouldn't let the PE requirement deter you just because of its name. Physical health means so much more than just working out and the Dartmouth PE curriculum reflects that. 

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