By Chloe Clouse
It’s 11:52 a.m. and the lunch bell rings, signifying the commencement of the 43 minutes of freedom students have between their fourth and fifth periods. Lunch has started. Students rush out of class, meet their friends to discuss the events of their morning, and head to their various destinations for the break between their classes.
Some students drive to their favorite restaurants, some eat in the shade of the tree-filled parks around DHS, some go on the Sophomore Walk to nearby Anderson Plaza, but some students also remain on the extensive campus.
Because DHS has an open campus during lunchtime, students may come and go as they please. While some students decide to leave, many others chose to eat on campus.
According to the Director of Sports Nutrition at UC Davis, Liz Applegate, “Students can eat healthfully either way, but by bringing your own lunch [that makes students] more motivated to eat it and feel good about taking on your own health – it’s a teen’s responsibility.”
Sophomore June Yang stays on campus every day and brings a lunch from home. Yang and his friends have eaten in the same spot all year – in the grassy area next to the P-building, which in his opinion is “the nicest place on campus to eat.”
Yang chooses to bring a lunch every day instead of buying one because the lunch line takes too long.
“It’s too inconvenient and expensive for the food you get,” Yang said.
However, Yang hasn’t always been so carefree about his lunch plans. During the first two weeks of school, Yang didn’t know where to go or what to do.
“I was like running around, not knowing where any of my friends were,” Yang said.
Now Yang is a campus pro and knows exactly where to meet his friends for lunch, unlike his first week of school self. His advice for incoming sophomores worried about lunch?
“Just enjoy your lunchtime. It’s a pretty joyful time,” Yang said.
Another sophomore, Julia Gladding, follows a similar lunchtime routine. Gladding usually eats with a friend, Haley Blackwell, whose father, David Blackwell, is a teacher at DHS. The girls usually meet in Blackwell’s classroom at the start of lunch.
Depending on the weather, the girls either eat in Blackwell’s classroom when it’s rainy and cold, or over by the tennis courts when it’s sunny.
Although Gladding has been on the Sophomore Walk, she prefers to bring a lunch from home and stay on campus with her friends because she doesn’t want to have to walk to get a lunch.
“Most of the time it’s just easier [to stay on campus], and the people I eat with are sophomores and we don’t really drive,” Gladding said.
However, if Gladding were given the option to go off campus everyday, she still would choose DHS.
“For me, it can get really expensive to eat off campus every day because you can easily spend five bucks a day, which adds up.”
Bringing a lunch from home isn’t the only option for DHS students who don’t want to leave campus, though. Sophomore Keir Negron chooses to buy the school lunch about once a week.
Negron leaves class, and heads over to the O-building, where lunch is served while the MPR is under construction. He then waits in line with other students for around five minutes to buy a lunch.
“I wouldn’t really choose to eat that every day, but it’s all right,” Negron said.
Negron then meets his friends in the quad to enjoy his lunch.
Students aren’t limited to only eating outside, though. Many students choose to eat in the classroom of a teacher. French and German teacher Lili Floyd opens her classroom up to students who want somewhere inside to hang out with friends or study during the lunch hour.
“Especially in the winter, there’s limited places to go … I like people to socialize and this is a good place to do it,” Floyd said.
On average, Floyd will get about 10 students per day in her classroom at lunch, with the numbers increasing during the winter.
“When it’s cold, it’s packed!” Floyd said.
Whether DHS students want to leave campus, or stay and spend their lunchtime on campus, students will find numerous places to eat and enjoy their lunch.