School lunch is something that should be fun, a place where you can eat and talk to your friends. Despite school being somewhat normal this year, lunch is still being impacted by COVID-19. But how different is lunch compared to last year?
Looking back at last year’s lunch situation, it was very depressing with students having an assigned seat, assigned time and having to eat lunch all by themselves, with the occasional friend nearby.
To put this year into perspective, students can now sit anywhere they like, socially distanced, in four different lunchroom areas: the Union, commons/lunch room, auxilary gym and concessions area.
The school has changed the lunch times to students’ fourth-period blocks, resulting in more classes that have lunch at the same time, giving students the opportunity to sit with their friends. That is, after the tremendously long lunch line.
The lunch line has never been short, but in past years it has been so long that it is actually giving students less time to eat. Due to the time that was added to Seminar, making lunch 30 minutes later than previous years.
Lunch times are close to what they were like before COVID-19, but are still very different. A lunch is from 11:35-11:57, B lunch is from 12:02-12:25, C lunch is from 12:30-12:53 and D lunch is from 12:58-1:25. This really only gives students around 25 minutes to get through the line and find a spot to sit, before they can finally devour their meals.
Senior Jack McDaniel doesn’t think that 25 minutes is enough.
“Only 25? That is not enough time, it takes way too long to go through the lunch line and then we only have around five minutes to eat,” McDaniel said.
Lunch last year felt like an eternity, giving students time to have a full five-course meal. This year, by the time they get out of the line, they would be lucky to finish their burger and chips before the bell rings and they get sent back to their classes.
Senior Austin Mills, talks about the pitfalls of this year’s lunch program.
“The first day of school I only had seven minutes to eat,” Mills said.
However, compared to last year, Mills agrees that it is more enjoyable.
Junior Tate Atkinson talks about what he likes and hates about lunch this year compared to last year’s.
“I like how we can pick where we can sit, but I hate how long the lunch lines are,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson has run to the lunch line because of this.
Last year, the lunchrooms were almost always as silent as freshmen on their first day of school. The addition of more students also makes lunch more crowded and therefore lines are longer. Luckily, this year’s lunches are back to “normal.” If there is any way to declare this year as normal, lunch is definitely going in the right direction, with the exception of the long lines.