Teen Thursday: What's Your Favorite Way to Spend Lunch?

Lunch time is a Big Deal.

Where you go, who you eat with - when I was in high school, people got nervous if it got to be fourth period and they hadn't nailed down their lunch plans yet. It said a lot about your social standing: Did you know an upperclassman with a car who could drive you to the pizza place near the university? Did you have a regular group of friends who always went to the same restaurant? Or were you stuck in the cafeteria with the weird people and the freshman who didn't know people with cars?

Serious stress, folks. I'm getting heartburn just thinking about it.

That’s why my favorite way to spend lunch was often in the choir room or in my English teacher mom’s classroom with a good book. I would drive out to McDonald’s or Subway and then bring my lunch back to enjoy it by myself.

I know it might sound kind of sad, but it really wasn’t, because I rarely had to deal with lunch stress! See, more often than not, I had a lunch period that was different from my friends’. So rather than let lunchtime cause me angst, I used it as a time to get a much-needed break. There were times, when I was in the school musical or our show choir had a lot of performances, where I spent most of my waking hours with other people, so that half-hour by myself was precious. Plus, while everybody else was scrambling to decide where to go and with whom, I always knew my little chair in the choir room was waiting just for me.

You’ll notice I opened this post by saying lunchtime is a big deal. Because I’m not talking purely past tense here. Lunchtime still is a big deal for teens, as illustrated in the book I’m currently reading, WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green and David Levithan, which contains a few good lunchroom scenes. And to be honest, lunch remains a big deal when you trade school for a job in an office. It sucks to see the cubicle clique walk past your desk on their way out for sandwiches, knowing they didn’t invite you. And nobody wants to be that sad person who sits in the break room, staring at a plate of Lean Cuisine.

Having lunch plans, whether it’s a regular group of friends to sit with or just knowing you’ve got a quiet, relaxing spot to escape to, gives us a sense of security.

What about you? If you’re a teen, what’s your most enjoyable way to spend lunch? If you’re older, what do you remember about lunchtime from your high school years?


Nina B. said...

While I was in high school, I used to have a group of friends and we'll bring our own lunch and eat in inside the classroom - we're called the 'Baon /ba-on/ Gang' (Packed lunch gang). We'd share our food with each other, and there was a time when half the class were eating with us.

In college, I'll eat anytime and anywhere.

Now that I'm working, I eat by myself in the break room because I'm a nurse and someone needs to be in the nurse's station at all times so we really can't eat together at once.

Brush Up On Your Reading

Pam Harris said...

I'm such a nerd. My friends and I would spend lunch in the guidance office. Hmm, maybe that's why I'm a guidance counselor now. Since I work in a school, I still get anxiety about eating in the cafeteria. If one of my coworkers isn't here, I keep my fingers crossed that SOMEBODY will come eat with me. :)

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

Well in my country, everyone is stucked in school with everyone. Most people eat in the canteen, and there's not social status thing. Some people eat in class if the prefects aren't shooing them away. Some in some random places around school.

Shannon said...

My hatred of school lunches began early. In kindergarten, I dropped my plastic tray of food on my way to my class table. Pizza, milk, canned peaches, and creamed corn went everywhere. But, the worst thing was the sound of the tray hitting the linoleum and reverberating through the cafeteria. It brought every pair of eyes straight to me.

I hated every single day of lunch after that for twelve long years (and NEVER bought lunch again). My only reprieve was a courtyard in high school. On nice days, I could sit out there, leaning against the plate glass window and eat in relative peace. I'd have eaten out there in the rain if the powers that be would have let me.

When I visit my daughter's school for lunch, I still get sweaty palms. Some things never change.

Micol Ostow said...

Um, I did a lot of homework at lunch. So I wouldn't have to do it at night. Nerd alert! What can I say?

Sarah Laurence said...

In high school I rarely had lunch because I took science classes with labs or art studio classes that spanned or short lunch "interval" period. I lived off of peanut butter sandwiches. During free periods, I'd walk to the corner deli to get a mocha with a friend and drink it outside or at the bottom of the basement steps at school. This was in NYC so no one had cars.

Em said...

In high school we often ate in the hallways or outside if the weather was nice - my school gave us the freedom to move around like that. As an upperclassmen we would often go out to this bagel shop that was not too far away. Not the healthiest lunch in the world, but hey, at least we were off campus. School lunch was more horrific for me when I was in middle school - not because of the cafeteria social scene but because of the food choices. I seriously just ate junk food (and milk) because the meals were so horrific (like the one pictured above). Gross. Lunch break is pretty awesome for me as an adult. I make sure it's well spent, even if I'm working through it.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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