Lunch: On or off-campus?

by ALYSSA PENA and JULIA VALDEPENA
Staff Writers
Going Off Campus

How many of you Miners were excited for your sophomore year, the year when you can first actually leave campus for your lunch and have the independence to choose where you want to go? What about you freshmen, are you excited? Of course you are. Going off campus is a great privilege here at El Diamante where you can ditch the cafeteria food and broaden your selection.
If you’re tired of sitting in the same area at lunch at school or bored with walking laps around its perimeter, you can go off for lunch. People seem to have plenty of time to head over to McDonald’s or Amigo’s, grab some food, and head back just in time for the bell. It doesn’t seem like much, but heading out somewhere else for a change can surprisingly be a lot less boring. If you happen to have a car it’s even better. Taking a little road trip to just about anywhere within a ten minute driving distance from El Diamante will leave you with a reasonable amount of time during your lunch break.
Along with your wider selection of foods comes healthier choices as well. Granted, El Diamante does have its fair share of salads and pastas in the student store, but as much as I like pasta, our love doesn’t last forever… Nearly all fast food restaurants now offer specially listed foods that are prepared with healthy ingredients. Still doesn’t suit your taste? Head home if you can. Nothing beats making your own food (unless you’re lazy like me).
But going off during lunch can also be helpful in other ways. Say you forgot something for your fifth or sixth period class. With that 40 minute break you may be able to head home and grab it. In all honesty, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten something, or wanted to grab something, so I went home during lunch to get it.
Now I’m aware some of you miners may be short on money, and going off seems like a bust on your buck. But who says it has to be? A couple bucks can get you a decent meal from nearly every restaurant. Now that still may be a problem. So just don’t go off everyday. Set up a day with a group of friends that you all go off to eat together, and on the other days, you can stick to the campus with a sandwich. While you’re there, you can look into some clubs that meet on days that fit your schedule.
Overall, going off campus is a fun for nearly all of us Miners can enjoy. Whether you’re grabbing some fast food, or your homework you forgot, off-campus lunch trips are great.

Staying On Campus

Staying on campus has its major benefits. Some people condone staying on because it’s what freshman do. That’s not true at all; I, being a senior, stay on campus quite often. It saves money, doesn’t really cause tardiness, and it has academic benefits.
Staying on campus saves huge amounts of money. Going off campus would lead to spending about twenty dollars a week, but staying on it is far less, especially if you get free or reduced lunch. Also, the school food is not bad at all. At the student store, you can get a delicious and reasonably healthy lunch for three dollars such as the chicken parmesan. Try finding something that cheap and healthy at the closest fast food place. For those that drive off campus everyday, staying on occasionally would save a lot of money, especially with the way gas prices are rising.
You won’t have to worry about those moments when you race back onto campus. Staying on campus allows you to comfortably walk back to class with no rush instead of racing against the clock. When the bell rings, you can even linger for a few moments finishing up a conversation with your friends, whereas going off campus can lead to your I.D. card getting taken away and possibly a Saturday school if there is a tardy sweep going on.
Staying on campus every once in awhile can lead to great opportunities. You can do your homework in the library, or visit a teacher to get some help on homework that you are really struggling with. It is all only a couple of feet away. You can also get a little study group going during lunch so that everyone can join in the study party.
Now that you’ve seen some of the benefits of staying on, you might consider staying on more often. I’ll even admit that staying on all the time could become a bore, but don’t go off every day. You’ll save money and sometimes it’s nice to see what happens on campus during lunch. You might end up with a nice surprise.

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