Lunch,the 30 minutes where students can socialize to their heart’s content, get homework done and take a mental break while refueling from their first few hours of school. Here at Palmetto, students are not restricted to the cafeteria during lunch, but rather posses the freedom to sit anywhere in the school. While the availability of lunch seating acts as a blessing for most Palmetto students, it also comes as a curse.
With so many locations on campus to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go and who to sit with. Many teens grew up watching movies that show lunch seating arrangements as a defining characteristic of high school, one that can make or break a reputation. For example, the movie Mean Girls makes a point in showing the different social groups and dynamics of lunch tables. While Hollywood portrays lunch as l socially important, the reality is not quite the same. However, thoughts of where and who to sit with is definitely a concern in the minds of students, specifically on the first day of school.
When it comes down to location, students have the choice to sit in the library, cafeteria, Pawvillion, benches, picnic tables and the hallways. With these options comes the divide in the type of environments, both physically and socially, in each location.
The library offers a calm alternative for students and gives them access to printers and computers to get schoolwork done; some students use this lunch location to hone in on their chess and card skills.
“When its open, I sit in the library with some friends and I like the computers so I can do work and I just like the atmosphere because it’s a lot quieter and calmer,” freshman Gianna Hutton said. “Also the air conditioning is a plus.”
Unlike the library, the Pawvillion is loud and rowdy. Packed from corner to corner, different groups of friends sit around and even on top of tables. The energy and social atmosphere of the Pawvillion attracts many students to this lunch area.
“I like that I can get fresh air and that we are not confined to sitting in single chairs. We eat, talk and study,” junior Eli Graff said. “It’s also nice that we have such an open space.”
While some Panthers prefer a loud and social lunch, some also prefer sitting solo and unwinding like sophomore Sophie Schnau, who spends her lunch time at the picnic benches.
“I don’t like talking while I eat, so I prefer to sit alone and just read or listen to some music,” Schnau said.
Whether it be sitting in the library, the Pawvillion or the benches, the freedom of lunch allows students get enjoy themselves and take a break from class.