Lunch period is the highlight of the day for high school students around the globe. For students who wake up too late to eat breakfast, it is an opportunity to give their bodies the fuel they need to finish the day. Many others see it as a refreshing break from the stress of schoolwork and the demands of their teachers. And for nearly all students, it is a time to socialize and mingle with friends and acquaintances. Giving students the opportunity to leave the school campus for lunch will allow them to fully enjoy their meal, relieve them of the stresses of school, and grant them meaningful fellowship with friends. One benefit to eating off campus is that the experience is far more enjoyable than eating in the dreary school cafeteria. Some might argue that it takes longer to drive off campus and wait in a drive-thru.
However, if one considers the amount of time students spend in the school cafeteria line waiting for the droves of fellow learners to decide what they want while they immerse themselves in their smartphones, then the converse becomes very apparent. Drive-thru windows have become very efficient in providing food to their driving customers. Moreover, there are far more choices in food fare outside of the school walls. Foods from Mexico, China, Italy, and Greece are just some of the choices students have when traveling “abroad” for lunch. So, eating off campus is a much better experience than eating at school. Oftentimes, a change in one’s surroundings is beneficial to his or her mental well-being.
This change in scenery is another advantage in leaving school for lunch. Arriving at school at 8:00 in the morning is common for most high schools. As the lunch period approaches, students have been in their institution for four to five hours – talk about having a mental meltdown! They desperately need a change of scenery. While a case can be made that remaining at school keeps the students in “learning mode”, it is far more reasonable to say that getting away from school allows them to refocus and reset their minds. Additionally, leaving school property gives them a chance to see trees, streams, mountains, beaches, and other natural surroundings. Such environments allow students to relax and unwind. Mental health is important to the developing student. Leaving campus for lunch will help improve the students’ mental health. Finally, leaving school property for lunch gives students an enhanced experience in fellowship. Developing social skills is imperative to the students’ journey into adulthood, and leaving school campus creates an environment similar to adult situations. When students are able to leave the school and travel to a restaurant, they are often in a group of three or four people. Being in a small group creates a certain intimacy which promotes a deeper level of personal connections.
There are those that will say that having more people around is more beneficial to developing social skills, but most successful teams are those of few people. For instance, firefighting crews, Marine Corps fire teams, and police SWAT teams often have four members. These teams are some of the most successful teams in our country because they are able to bond and develop trust amongst themselves. When students leave school in a small group of three or four, they are building that same trust and camaraderie. In closing, there are many benefits to allowing high school students the opportunity to leave school campus for lunch. Three of the most important benefits are that they will be able to better enjoy their meal, increase their mental health, and develop their social skills.