At the beginning of every school year, how students think the year will go all depends on what grade they are in. Freshmen are nervous and intimidated that they will get lost in a new, huge school; sophomores are happy they aren’t freshmen anymore.Juniors are excited to finally be upperclassmen, and seniors are excited to be the “kings” (or queens) of the school.
The idea that upperclassmen “rule the school” has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but when lunchtime rolls around, the underclassmen get a chance to exercise their authority.
It is a Leesville tradition that freshman sit in the “pit” of the cafeteria, and the sophomores sit on “the stage”. The pit is simply the lowest area of the cafeteria that everyone can look down into. The stage is the area that looks out over the entire cafeteria. It’s almost like sitting on a throne — if there could ever be a throne in a cafeteria, that is.
When the lunch bell rings, sophomores almost run to get a spot on the stage. Being able to sit on the stage is what separates the freshman from the sophomores. From an underclassman perspective, it is the only separation between the sophomore and freshman class.
Rachel Golden, a junior at Leesville Road High School, described why freshmen don’t sit on the stage: “Freshmen just aren’t allowed on the stage; that’s how it’s always been.”
It is an unwritten rule around Leesville that sophomores get the best seats in the cafeteria simply because they are older. This rule is also why seniors get the best seats at football games.
Rachel Noser, a sophomore at Leesville, explained the situation as “kind of a seniority thing.” Even without an older sibling in high school, she already knew as a freshman she and her friends weren’t allowed to sit on the stage until they were older. Sitting in the pit is just what freshmen are supposed to do.
Every aspect of daily life at Leesville is based on seniority. From the best parking spots in the lot to the privilege of being able to go off campus during lunch, upperclassmen get the best of everything. The cafeteria is the only place underclassmen sophomores feel like they have any power or authority. Everywhere else, the upperclassmen rule.