The Case for Juniors Going out to Lunch

Jack Sachs, Staff Writer

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The freedom of choosing where to eat between 11:25 AM and 12:25 PM at University School, a pleasure underclassmen, and juniors long for, is the essence of senior privilege. Students long for the freedom to eat burritos from Chipotle or sandwiches from Jimmy John’s, not as an insult to our kitchen staff, but as an expression of liberty in becoming the oldest students on campus. I contest that the kitchen staff’s culinary creativity and variety make our lunches delicious, yet there is some intangible feeling of maturity and liberty associated with going out to lunch.

Why not confer this responsibility and sense of autonomy to the junior class? As juniors approach the time to compile their traits and achievements into college applications, the choice to go out to lunch could serve as yet another opportunity to be responsible and mature. Couldn’t this exclusive opportunity become a means for the junior class to further develop the school’s foremost trait of responsibility?

In spite of the inherent risk of permitting students to depart during the school day, a responsibility like this is one that students will have on a daily basis after graduating. Deciding whether to stay in and do work or to go out to lunch with friends is a decision college students and adults have to make every day, and conferring this responsibility to our junior class will undoubtedly help prepare them even better for the time after graduation. As a preparatory school, it almost functions as an obligation to prepare students for this aspect of real life.

Now, many will contest that allowing half of the student population to go out for lunch is unfeasible, largely because the cafeteria will feel emptier with only sophomores and freshmen there to accompany the faculty. Furthermore, the central idea surrounding eating with one’s sponsor group is that it builds strong relationships between its members, which fortifies the bonds of the US community. To resolve these two imperfections, consider allowing juniors to go out to lunch only on Fridays.

Friday, the day where weekly stress begins to subside and students are most eager to enjoy time with their friends, is the ideal one-day per week solution for juniors going out to lunch. This solution achieves the best of both worlds. Not only will this form inter-sponsor group bonds, but juniors get a slight taste of maturity and worldly responsibility coupled with the enjoyment of kicking back on an early Friday afternoon. The taste of this responsibility will not only help prepare junior students for a crucial aspect of real life but will also fortify the relationships that the current system neglects: those between students and their friends from their respective class.

It is not uncommon to go an entire day at University School without running into one’s own group of friends at all. The stress of junior year causes many to overwork instead of socializing, and the current lunchtime structure often causes students to disconnect from some of their closest friends, whom they do not share classes or a sponsor group with. If juniors could go out to lunch on Fridays, they could spend the hour with whomever they want, rejuvenating neglected friendships.

Because it enhances the morale and bonds between students of the junior class, while also furnishing an opportunity for juniors to be responsible, to be honest about signing in and out, and to feel the euphoria of indulging in a Chipotle burrito every Friday, permitting members of the junior class to go out to lunch on Fridays would invigorate the University School community.

 

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The Voice of the Student
The Case for Juniors Going out to Lunch