The Big Lunchtime Dilemma

Andrew McDougal, Alex Hodson, and Harper Hamilton unable to study in the commons.

Andrew McDougal, Alex Hodson, and Harper Hamilton unable to study in the commons.

Jacob Reeves, Journalist

A huge test is coming up in 5th period worth 50% of your grade, and you need to do some last minute studying in a quiet environment to refresh your memory; you also notice that your stomach is killing you, and if you don’t eat you will likely feel awful for the rest of the day. What do you do? This question should be simple to answer, but this year that has unfortunately not been the case. A trip to the library with a bag of loud chips will result in strange looks from students, and a stern talking to from the librarian. Surrounded by friends in the noisy commons, pulling out your chromebook to study a quizlet set is nearly impossible. Sitting on the ground along the hallway is uncomfortable, discouraged by hall monitors, and unfortunately looked down upon by peers. These are all things that cannot, and likely will never change in a high school environment. So what is the solution?

Alex Hodson, Senior suggests that a quiet classroom for eating and studying should be established. “I have needed to study for tests and finish assignments last minute all the time, but it feels like I have to make a choice between doing the work and feeling hungry for the rest of the day,” he says. Hodson acknowledges that some classrooms already provide environments like this, however they are not known about, nor are they necessarily available for most students. “Some students are able to work in classrooms and eat, but very few. It should be a space that everyone can use, whenever they need it,” he says. “I think that there is already pressure on students to spend lunchtime studying instead of eating, and the fact that there is no option to do both is a huge problem.” 

Alan He, Senior agrees that there is a clear issue. He states, “I have had to prioritize getting work done over eating a lot,” and that “it sometimes makes me do worse on tests, going into them with an empty stomach.” He recognizes that there isn’t currently a large enough space for this to happen on campus, but feels that “It is really important that one is established or built in the next few years, because students should really have the option to get work done while still being able to eat.” Quinn Cherullo, Senior offers an alternate perspective. “Although I sometimes have work to do at school, I am able to get most of it done at home which gives me more time throughout the day to hang with friends and eat lunch,” Cherullo states. “For some people, this is a big problem but personally I am not too bothered by it.”

Regardless of the different stances that students have taken on this topic, one thing remains true; balancing all of the things in each of our lives is difficult, and it is important to value nutritional health just as highly as schoolwork. At OHS, allowing students a setting for quiet studying and eating would be a step in the right direction.