The Best and Worst Places to Spend Your Lunch Period


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By Jenna Elsamman, Co-Editor

Freehold High School is home to numerous locations for students to eat lunch. From the giant gymnasiums and cafeterias to the individual classrooms, every place has its unique qualities and appeals to different students. But what truly makes or breaks a lunch period is the atmosphere and the overall experience each location brings. That’s why, by reviewing and rating each location, I have determined the best and worst places to enjoy your 35 minutes to the fullest. 

The Main Gymnasium – 4/10

The main gym is one of the most popular places occupied by people from all different grades. On the plus side of things, the main gym is home to its very own lunch vendor that sells lunches at your convenience. It is also a place with a large amount of seating, which is useful if you like to spend your lunch with many friends and classmates. However, on the negative side, the expansive seating arrangement causes the gym to be very crowded, loud, and sometimes cramped – which is not a very functional environment. Plus – this might just be a personal preference – but I find the gym bleachers very uncomfortable, especially for an entire period. Therefore, the main gym is not at all the best place for those who wish to study, work, or enjoy a peaceful lunch. For that, I personally give the main gym a 4/10 because of its close proximity to the food, but negative points for the seating and noise.

The Auxiliary Gymnasium –  4.5/10

Now, I have to admit I haven’t officially eaten in the auxiliary gym, but in my time there I unfortunately don’t have many positive things to say about it. It felt like the main gym, except even more cramped. Plus, an anonymous first-hand witness reported that eating at the auxiliary gym is a “Lovecraftian experience” due to the crowds and high noise level. “Trying to find someone there is not for the weak. No matter how much you search for a specific person, 9 times out of 10 you probably won’t be able to find them. In the off chance that you finally end up finding them there, you’ll feel too mentally drained to even interact with them. On top of that, you practically have to scream for anyone to hear you.” But on the positive side, they do offer more comfortable tables – and sell food nearby.  So for that, I dare say it is worthy of a 4.5/10.

The East and West Cafeterias – 6.5/10

Since I was a freshman last year, I spent a lot of my lunch periods in the cafeterias. What I like about the cafeterias is how much easier it is to navigate between tables and around the room because the rooms are less cramped. Also, they aren’t as noisy as the gyms and they have easy food access as well. So for that, I give the cafeterias a 6.5/10. 

The Media Center – 9.5/10

The media canter is often overlooked as just the place people can go to browse for books… but I like to think of it as the hidden gem of the school. Spending your lunch there is perfect if you desire some productive work time, or just a comfy overall experience. The media center offers a variety of comfortable tables and chairs. It also has an array of computers where you can do work or print something out. It’s accepted as a quiet room, so people can enjoy calm and silence. The only negative that comes with the media center is how far it is from food – but if you are someone who brings their own lunch, this wouldn’t matter in the least. It may be the perfect place for you! Therefore, I feel that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives and give the media center a 9.5/10. 

The Senior Courtyard – 8/10

As you may have noticed, unfortunately, I am not a senior yet. But I have first-hand accounts from seniors that share their feelings about spending their lunch in the senior courtyard. From what I gather, the courtyard offers many positives and brings a pleasant atmosphere to lunchtime. The location allows for a nice opportunity to experience the outdoors while you eat. And it even has a giant tree that towers over students in the middle of the courtyard, shielding them from the hot sun. The noise levels are relatively quiet and peaceful, and the tables are comfortable and big enough for working and/or eating. The only negative aspect is the courtyards’ great distance from the lunch stands. However, like the media center, this isn’t too great of an obstacle to overcome to get to eat there – and the atmosphere definitely appears to be worth it. That is why the courtyard definitely deserves an 8/10.

C-Wing Classrooms – 7.5/10

Regrettably, for my entire freshman year, I was completely unaware of this option. But this year I was fortunate to discover that many rooms in the C-Wing are open to any students to sit and enjoy their lunch. Particularly, room C106 is a great place to stay. Some positives it has are its incredibly large tables due to it being an architecture classroom. These tables are perfect for your eating and working needs. Also, being in the C-Wing, these classrooms are only one hallway away from places where you’d buy lunch. The noise levels are usually different depending on the group of students in each room, but they can reach that sweet spot that isn’t overbearingly loud or completely silent. That’s why I give this location a 7.5/10.

To sum it all up, each location has its negative and positive attributes, which allow our school to offer a lot of options. I personally have felt that the atmosphere and quirks of the media center make it my favorite place to spend my lunch period. I enjoy the comfy furniture and I like to do work and study during lunch. But, as you already know, every one of us has different tastes and preferences. Therefore, I hope this review piece has helped you think of which locations to try and help you figure out which place is best for you!