BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — It’s lunch time! We all know that lunch is an important event in any school day, and lunch in high school is no less important that anywhere else.
To survive lunch at high school, you first have to know when lunch is.
Each day, there are four “lunch waves” that start too early and end too late. Depending on your luck, you could end up eating any time from the morning hours when you’re still mentally in bed or the late afternoon when you feel like your stomach is ready to strike unless properly fed.
Once you get the proper time and actually find the lunch room (it’s the big room with all the tables in it, in case you were wondering), you have to decide exactly what it is you want to eat.
Some people stick with the traditional bag lunch packed with the sandwich you throw out and the cookies you eat.
Others opt for the more risky route and purchase a lunch from the school. In order to do this successfully, you must have $2.25 and a bizarre fondness of chicken and chicken products. Chicken nuggets, chicken patties, grilled chicken, chicken fingers — if they can put chicken in it, they do.
Occasionally, there’ll be an oddity in the menu. Perhaps pizza or calzones may pop up once in a while, but there’s still the suspicious smell of poultry.
If you decide not to go the full lunch route, there are other choices.
One line specializes in grinders made especially for you. Go this route and you’re treated with the choice of a variety of meats and cheeses with vegetables, chips, a dessert and milk for the same price of $2.25.
If this still doesn’t tip your boat, you also have the choice of the pre-made line. This includes random salads and desserts and even a choice of hot soup for those wintry cold days.
Of course, there are always the people who survive on the package of four cookies for 75 cents or a bag of chips for 60 cents. Either way, you always have something to eat.
To avoid conflict when choosing a seat, do not head in the direction of the gray chairs. This section, reserved for seniors, is exclusive and will only cause disturbances if a freshman wanders into the sacred territory.
Most freshmen group together the first few weeks and sit at random tables. Some lunch waves are far more populated then others, so you may have to race for your preferred seat.
At Bristol Eastern High School, some choose to dine with a little more style and head out to the picnic tables in the courtyard when the weather is permitting. This is dining with style in high school.
Actually eating lunch is easy. Like anywhere else, you sit and shovel food into your mouth. It can’t get much more simple than that.
Just try to ignore the random people staring at you through new wall of glass windows while you stuff your face if you pretend they aren’t there, they’ll just go away.
Unlike many elementary and some middle schools, raising hands and asking for permission to leave your seat is not necessary. In fact, if someone were to do so, the response they would get is a laugh in their face. I wouldn’t go that route unless you’re looking for a bruised ego instead of lunch.
After finishing the meal, many people stay seated and finish the homework due for the next period that they “forgot” to do.
Others choose to gather in the surrounding hallways. But beware — someone with a walkie-talkie is on guard, watching to make sure people don’t leave earlier than the bell.
When the bell finally does ring, the hallways once again flood with the bodies of other high school students waiting to escape.
Just remember to take your time. After all, who’s in a hurry to get back to class?
Jen Rajotte is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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