Lunch A Different Experience Under Hybrid


Emma Kehoe ('21)

RMHS cafeteria set up with student desks.

Audrey Tobin ('21), Orbit Contributor

RMHS school lunch was once a loud, crowded scene. As of now, it’s quite the opposite.

About a fourth of the students are present in the building on a given day due to COVID-19 guidelines. Therefore, lunch is not nearly as crowded. Students sit six feet apart at desks instead of the usual lunch tables. One grade eats in the cafeteria, while the other eats in the field house. The social aspect of lunch is nowhere close to the same.

The alternative to eating in the building is eating off campus. RMHS is now an open campus, giving students the freedom to leave during lunch and studies if approved by their parents. It seems preferred by students to leave the building for lunch so they can be in the comfort of their homes or cars, where they can take a break from school and their masks.

Junior and senior students from RMHS were asked to describe what their lunchtime looks like during in person days. Ava Durso, an RMHS junior, said, “ I eat lunch in my car because sitting in the lunchroom on a little desk is not appealing. Being able to sit in my car and relax with no worries and music is much better than being in the lunchroom with all those kids.“ Brian Bloom, an RMHS senior, explained a very similar scene for his lunchtime. Bloom added, “ It feels a lot safer eating in the car than being inside eating and less interaction with people.“

According to Assistant Principal Theriault, eating in the car isn’t allowed. However, the teachers are understanding of students’ reasoning and since it’s an open campus, what’s going on inside of the building is of more concern.  Ms. Theriault along with assigned teachers watch over the cafeteria during lunchtime.  Ms. Theriault shared,  “ Students appear not happy, and it’s hard for teachers to watch.“ The number of junior/senior students eating in the building compared to freshman/sophomore students is significantly smaller.

It’s clear that eating in the car is very popular among the older students and is preferred by many. Students are now utilizing lunch as a time to relax and recharge, rather than a time to socialize.