One of my favorite departments outside of Viterbi at USC is PHED, which is the Physical Education department. Growing up, I loved taking PE classes since I enjoy being active and playing sports. In 8th grade I even took a class called Advanced PE (I’m not even joking). When I first got to USC and heard that PE classes were offered, I knew I wanted to try and fit as many into my schedule as possible! So far I have taken two classes, and I’m currently enrolled in another!

The PHED department here at USC offers classes in a whole variety of different sports and forms of exercises. They are only 1 or 2 units, so it is really easy to fit one in your schedule since engineering students normally have 1 or 2 units to spare each semester. All of the classes meet either twice a week for an hour or once a week for 2 hours. Since the class is short it isn’t much of a time commitment, but it feels great to be able to work out with a group instead of alone at the Lyon Center. It can also serve as something fun and stress-free to do after a long day of rigorous engineering classes.

A great thing about the PHED classes is that they accept any and all skill levels. Some kids join the class because they have never played a sport before and want to learn. Others join because they have been playing their whole lives and don’t have enough time to be on a club or intramural team. It is also cool to meet all the different students in the class. The classes have a large range of majors and years, so every class you get to meet new people you would otherwise never get the opportunity to meet.

The first class I ever took was PHED 110A, which is Swimming. Growing up, I was on swim team every summer up until high school. I love swimming laps as a form of exercise, but always feel too busy to drag myself to the pool. Throughout the semester, we learned the four different strokes and all the rules of swimming. We also had a lifeguard week, a water polo week, and at the end of the semester we competed in relay races. I really enjoyed getting to be in the water twice a week, and by the end of semester I could tell I not only had better form for all my strokes, but also got into much better shape as well.

Another fun class I took my sophomore year was Soccer, which is PHED 154A. I started out playing soccer as a little kid and played all the way until the beginning of high school when I quit to focus on ice hockey. I missed playing, so by taking this class I was given the opportunity to see if I still had my soccer skills. What was cool about my soccer class was that everyone had played before so instead of focusing on instruction and the rules, we got the scrimmage everyday! Our scrimmages were really competitive, and a great workout. The highlight for me was definitely when I scored the winning penalty kick for my team.

Currently this semester I am taking Tennis, which is PHED 140A. I started playing tennis my senior year when I joined my high school team for fun, since I wanted to learn a new sport. I still play on the weekends back home with my friends, but I wanted to take the class in order to sharpen up my skills. So far I am really enjoying the class and since there aren’t very many students we get more one-on-one help from the teacher. We have been working on forehands, backhands, and serves, and starting next week we are going to begin single’s play.

If you enjoy playing sports or want a fun way to work out, I strongly recommend taking any of the PHED classes. Besides the ones I have taken, there are also classes in yoga, weight training, self-defense, volleyball, and basketball – just to name a few! I am hoping to take the surfing class and beach volleyball class before I graduate! Fight on!

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Civil Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!