Opinion: Grade level lunches will help students

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Opinion: Grade level lunches will help students

Tony Yacavone, Staff Writer

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The current school lunch system is inherently detrimental to students. It is random whether or not you will be placed in a lunch with people you know. At WA, there are four lunches that occur during long block every day. Each room number is scheduled for one of these four lunches. Students are put in lunches with people whose room number corresponds to the same lunch as theirs.

Ever since I came to Westford Academy this year, I have felt confusion over why the lunches are divided this way. With the additional stress that comes with being a high school student, one would think that the staff would want us to have a break where we can socialize with familiar faces. Lunch is something that many students look forward to, however, with the current system, some students will have to deal with the anxiety of finding friends in each lunch block. Students already do not have control of seeing their friends in classes, so it would be nice to have it be possible at lunch. At Westford Academy, there are four lunches, so I question why these lunches are not split up by grade level.

The only problem with that system would be that electives have mixed grade levels. A compromise to fix this issue would be that mixed grade-level classes go to the lunch that the majority of students are in. This theory system is flawed; however, because as students progress through high school years, more of your classes will be filled with people from different grade levels. While I can not come up with a fool-proof solution to this issue, I believe it is one worthy of looking into as it could help students.

Other students seem to have similar feelings about this issue, including freshman Alex Parent.

“You would know everybody, and it would be a more enjoyable experience. You would get to be with your friends for all of the lunches not just some of them […] From the people I know, other students would like this change as well, he said.

Some students seem to find it important for different grade levels to socialize, and upperclassmen have told me that as you go through high school, you make more friends with people through clubs and sports. One could agree with these claims; however, this puts pressure on students to be a part of a club or a sport in order to have somebody to sit with. Saying that students have to make friends this way is not a solution. What about people who are not interested in committing to these activities?

Personally, I lack interest in any club, sport, or extra-curricular activity that could lead me to these friends, therefore, I will still face the problem of potentially not having friends to sit with. School already takes up such a large majority of a high schoolers time, and to tell students that they should join a club or sport to make friends sounds ludicrous.

Also, in my experience, I have rarely seen someone sit with a person who is not in their grade level. It would most likely be easier for the majority of students to make friends with people they already know rather than people they have never seen before. You could also make the argument that students can make new friends that they have in their lunches, but it definitely is not the easiest thing to approach a new group of people and become friends with them. With new shy and young students coming into the school every year, you cannot expect all of them to find a group of friends to talk to, especially if they are younger than the people they are tying to interact with.

The current lunch system is not an issue that students should have to face, as it just gives them problems. The current lunch system divides students from the people they have come to know, since in the middle schools lunches are separated by grade. Now, students are left with a system that they can not control.