The Hourglass

You Can Sit With Us

Sammy Baron '20, Staff Writer

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Originally featured in the March 2018 Edition

As the notorious mean girl Gretchen Weiners once declared, “You can’t sit with us!” At Baldwin, one should find oneself thinking the real question is, “Do you want to sit with us?”
Lunch tables: Marketed in the media as the most important and detrimental part of our upper school experience. If you don’t sit at the right table then you’re doomed for social destruction… right?
Wrong. In the real world, and not teen movies from the early 2000’s, lunch tables are just that, lunch tables. In the grand scheme of the high school experience, there is a consensus among the student body that it is the education and friendships that make these four years.
However, in a world where change is a fact of life, one thing seems to remain relatively constant. Every day people sit at the same tables, and sometimes even in the same exact seat. Why do we do this? What keeps us at the same tables and chairs, day after week after year?
Sophia Tavangar ‘21 sits at the same table every day with the same people and said that she “does not think the tables will ever change.” Tavangar explained, “There is just a flow that everyone thinks of and when you think of lunch tables you just sit in your seat.”
When we become accustomed to something, we keep doing it by habit. Tavangar explained that “at my lunch table I’m definitely closer with specific people and so I sit closer to them. Those I’m not as close with still might sit at the table but we may not talk as much, and there definitely are people that sit somewhere else that I know really well.” Despite the fact that she voluntarily sits at the same table every day, she finds herself closer with some girls whom she does not sit with.
Olivia Alleyne ‘20, like Tavangar, sits at the same table with the same people every day. Alleyne would not consider switching tables, which makes sense, considering that her closest friends sit with her at the table. However, Alleyne did explain, “There have been fights between people at the same table, that has happened before and I still sat in the same place, everyone sat in the same place.” Some would rather sit at a table with a friend they are feuding with than sit with new people. Some have experienced lunches with feuding friends, lunches filled with awkward conversation, avoided eye contact, and hushed whispering, yet they pretended as though everything was the same.
Lunch tables bring students a sense of normality. But the more one thinks about it, the stranger the phenomenon seems. People eat at tables filled with drama to avoid the drama of switching tables. Students constantly resort to habit, the easier option.
Alleyne explained, “People get so stuck in a routine that it’s easier for them to resort to one thing. They have a seat and that’s their seat so they sit there, why would they go out of their way to change it?”
However, students can break away from routine and normality and put themselves into situations that allow them to try new things and branch out to others. We should all make an effort to reach out to others. While tables may take longer to change, being a kind person does not have to.
So, if you want to follow fashion trends, hairstyles, or makeup inspiration from Mean Girls, be my guest, but don’t exclude others like they did. Our legacy here is short, so leave a kind one. Although lunch tables may be unchanged, nothing is stopping us from spreading positivity, keeping an open mind towards others, and simply being a kind person.

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You Can Sit With Us