Students need more spots to study during lunch


Graphic by Jenny Lu.

By Ella Atsavapranee

As soon as the lunch bell rings, I rush down to the library to cram for my next test. But when I get there, I encounter a nightmarish—but all too common—sight. All of the lights are off and the door is locked, which can only mean one thing: the media center is closed for 5th and 6th lunch.

With the constant flow of schoolwork and standardized tests that accompany junior year, I often rely on the extra 45 minutes of my lunch period to prepare for a test or finish homework. Opting for a study period in the library instead of lunch helps me effectively manage deadlines and exams.

But when the media center is closed for classes or testing, it’s difficult to find a quiet place to study. The cafeteria and hallways are usually too crowded and hectic to serve as a study space because students constantly walk around and socialize.

Even when the media center is open, the conditions aren’t ideal. Since many students gather in the library, it often becomes crowded very quickly. The media center also has a strict “no food or drink allowed” policy, so students can’t eat or drink anything while working. This leaves me with a dilemma: do I study in the media center and sacrifice my lunch, or eat in the hallway while trying to study amidst the chaos?

To remedy this, Whitman administrators should allow students to spend their lunch period in available classrooms where they can study and eat, designating these spots at the beginning of the semester. Students shouldn’t have to give up eating lunch just to study in the media center before their next period.

Other study spaces around the school would allow students to be productive despite media center closures or distractions.

Although some teachers allow students in their classrooms during lunch, students usually aren’t allowed in classrooms without the teacher’s permission. Students also have the option to study in the CCIC, but like the media center, it’s often crowded or closed for college visits. Designating specific classrooms to serve as lunchtime study rooms would make these spaces regularly available to students.

Lunchtime is the only break students have from scheduled academics. Let’s help students recharge mentally and nutritionally. Quiet spots where students can study and eat would ensure a more healthy and productive lunch period.