Biting our (lunch)time until returning to normalcy

Walk through campus at 11:15 a.m., and it almost feels like a pre-pandemic school day. Once again, the parking lots are full of laughing, eating upperclassmen. The amphitheater brims with freshmen still struggling to figure out how to get to class. Campus may be occupied by masked students, but lunch now feels sacred, a flashback to the days when “six feet apart” was just a cheesy movie starring Cole Sprouse. Food unites us, and as we step from our homes into a semi-normal life for the first time in over a year, any interaction, regardless of how small, is vital. Although it is heartwarming to see students and teachers eating on campus once again, the faces made while they do so are not as nice. Still, watching someone awkwardly contort their face to chomp into their favorite meal is a welcoming reminder that some things never change (though masks pulled down under chins can impede on comfortable eating). The true benefit of in-person school is not the absence of shoddy Zoom connections, but the return to real-life friendships, especially those formed over baby carrots and turkey sandwiches.