School has just begun, and the Leesville Road parking lot is overflowing with upperclassmen going off campus for lunch. Upperclassmen are permitted, with a pass, to leave campus during the lunch hour.
SMART Lunch comes after three exhausting periods, so an hour for social time is a privilege many upperclassmen take advantage of. “The biggest thing I was looking forward to was leaving school for a bit and spending time with friends,” said Malina Pardo, junior.
Although freedom and fun was a common answer from the upperclassmen when asked the benefits of going off, Elise Hall, a junior here at Leesville, expressed the negatives and complications as well. “Going off campus is all it is built up to be, but getting out of the parking lot is way harder than it seems. Also, having to wait in the line results in less time for lunch, which can put everyone in a time crunch to get back on time.”
A common worry among the juniors was the planning that is required before leaving campus. “Some struggles [of] going off is setting up plans with your friends because everyone’s texting you at third period,” said David Arukwe, junior. “One friend isn’t replying, while another one is arguing over Taco Bell or Chipotle.”
Time management is learned through experience. Although the juniors don’t have a ton of experience going off, they all seem to understand the balance between grades and social life. Hannah WIllard, a senior at Leesville Road, has maintained her straight A’s, even after a year of having the privilege to leave school during lunch.
“It’s important that you set your priorities straight,” said Willard, “and that if you have missing assignments or tests to study for, you have to be able to know how much free time you have and that could possibly mean grabbing food during A lunch and finishing work during B lunch.”