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A Fresh(Wo)man’s Perspective: Lunch

In the second installment of our series profiling freshman, we move to another anxiety-ridden topic: the lunch room

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Two freshmen enjoy their free time at lunch.

Of all of the transitions from middle school to high school, perhaps the most daunting change of all can be lunch.  Upon entering the cafeteria, the choices are overwhelming: Where do I sit? Will I like the food? Should I play four-square outside after I’m done eating? The lunch room can be a place for of anxiety-inducing decisions.

When making the transition from middle to high school, NAI’s 2017 freshman have noticed that in the midst of the numerous differences between the two schools, is a large change how students’ lunch periods are organized. While there are immense contrasts, such as the total time students have to eat, there are also subtle ones present, like the activities outside the cafeteria. We interviewed three freshman to get their opinions on the changes.

The first topic that the freshmen named as a large difference is the social atmosphere. Since lunch is split up into multiple periods, students must find new friend groups to eat with. Compared to last year, some students have expanded their inner circles of classmates. When asked if she sits with the same group as last year, Jenny Zhu, one of the interviewees, responded with “Yes, but throughout the year, I’ve been able to meet and become friends with so many other people.”

However, some students find it difficult to keep their group consistent in numbers, since they are most likely sitting with a slightly different set of people. Réka Götz, another one of the freshman, answered that “Our table is smaller.”, when asked the same question as Zhu.

Overall, I think the change from middle school to NAI is mostly a good one, because it leads to having new experiences.”

— Faith Nyugen

On a positive note, all the freshmen that were interviewed reported that they preferred the furniture at NAI over the furniture at the three middle schools. The main factor for their opinions: the booths. Two of the three freshmen that were asked both commented that “the booths were cool”. Adding to the positive feedback on the furniture, Zhu feels that “I like this year’s set up more. Last year, we were confined to individualized seats, but this year there are so many different choices that we can pick from. I like it a lot.”

One main difference between lunch in middle school and high school is the length. In high school, students have fifteen more minutes to eat than the middle-schoolers. All three freshmen concluded that they liked having more time to eat and talk with their friends to get away from the stress of classes.

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