By Bernardo Verdiguel,
Open campus allows students at Davis High more independence at a time in their lives when this is exactly what they need to grow and mature, it allows them access to a wider range of food choices, providing potentially healthier alternatives to school lunches, and it allows students to take a proper break from the drudgery of school.
Giving students a 45-minute period during which they can go where they want offers them a chance to learn more about the world than they could in the confines of campus.
Furthermore, a variety of lunch options forces students to consider how they will spend any money they have earned, as well as forcing them to take their health into their own hands. Students also have to consider that they have to be back on campus before the start of fifth period.
While this variety of options might spell potential disaster for parents who worry their students will be late to class, will make unhealthy food choices, and will spend all their money on food, to a student it spells the acceptance of responsibility. Students learn to manage their time, their money, and their own health. All of this helps prepare them for life in college, where students will have to manage all three of these on a daily basis.
According to huckleberryhouse.org, a website all about educating teens, parents would be smart to slowly wean their kids into the type of life they will lead in college. Open campus is a perfect way to do this by teaching students some basic life skills.
On top of this, lunch breaks are designed to let students decompress. Allowing them to leave campus is the perfect way of doing this.
Open campus presents students with an opportunity to truly clear their heads before the second half of their day.
No official studies have been made to prove that leaving campus helps clear a student’s head, however, speaking from personal experience, I always feel wider awake and more focused during the second half of my school day if I have left campus during lunch.
Another main concern for parents is the issue of diet; that because of the time constraint during open campus lunch, students often only have time to get fast food, even if they’d like to choose a healthier option.
The advantage of living in such a small town, however, is that it takes very little time to get anywhere, really. Driving from the high school to downtown Davis, where there’s plenty of healthy food options, takes 15 minutes maximum on days with more traffic. Even so, this give students a solid 15 minutes to pick up their food, leaving them with 15 to get back to school on time.
For most food locations in Davis, 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to order your food. So open campus truly does allow students a wider choice of healthy food options–many of these healthier than the school lunches (which generally consist of fast food such as hamburgers or pizza).
Open campus is a necessary and enriching part of Davis High life; it offers our students much more independence and freedom, and is one of the greatest parts of high school life at DHS.