By Hallie Landis
This special hour during our school day is supposed to be the least worry some. The truth is, it could be the most stressful time, especially on the first day. The question everybody is mostly concerned with, except what kind of food are they serving us, is: Who the heck am I going to sit with?
Socially, we all want to be accepted. Depending on who is in your lunch hour, that gets tested. Everyone has their own little group or clique of friends reserved to a table. If you don’t have at least one person to be stuck against like a lost puppy dog, then you’re screwed. The cafeteria is one section of the building where a portion of the student population is forced to reside.
I feel, if you have absolutely no one to sit with, then you should be able to go eat someplace else. I’m not saying this will give some students an excuse to roam the hallways and not eat at all, because they will. But if a teacher personally gives their permission to resort in their room, then that should be allowed. No one deserves to be forced to feel like a loner without their friends sharing lunch with them. I have experienced a situation similar to this.
Of course during my last year of high school, I’ve had to deal with the social anxiety of lunch time. My fourth hour teacher luckily allows me to eat in the personal fitness room and all was going well. I only chose to go in the cafeteria to retrieve my food and return back to my safety net. That was challenged when a dean stopped me to state that food wasn’t allowed outside of the cafeteria room. I assumed it wasn’t a big deal with another dean allowing me to leave without a tray and knowing I was going to throw away my garbage.
Apparently this time it was a rule the other dean wasn’t reluctant on. He expressed a complaint to my teacher, which resulted in me just choosing to pack my lunch from now on. I wasn’t going to be forced to be in a room full of strangers, spending my lunch period miserable.
It’s quite sad that the cafeteria has to feel like a prison, instead of a form of social acceptance for every student.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org