The table speaks louder than the people sitting at it


You know when you’re watching a coming-of-age movie or show, and a school lunch scene comes on? Well do you ever notice the almost designated seats and tables that make it look like everyone has a certain place that they are “supposed” to sit at? Almost every school has it, you sit with your group of friends, the people that have the same interests and hobbies as you, and the people you feel most comfortable with. But from what I’ve observed is that it’s much deeper than that. So, what really establishes these appointed groups and the people whom you choose to surround yourself with? Let’s take a closer look.  

 As a high school student, myself, I witness this situation firsthand every day and have often thought about it. When you look around the most obvious thing is that almost everyone is sitting with people that they seem to be congenial with. This is shown clearly through their mannerisms towards each other. You’re not going to want to sit with someone where the conversation doesn’t flow smoothly, because that would make for a long, awkward lunch.  

Another apparent factor that leads you to whichever lunch table you find yourself walking too is the surrounding atmosphere and the energy it gives off as you make your way towards it.  If you know what you’re walking into then that can often prepare you for the next 30 minutes ahead. People sit with the people that will make them feel good and whether that’s with a good laugh, a shoulder to cry on or even someone to just steal snacks from. Those are just a few of the driving factors.  

 Every teenager wants to feel like they belong, and they want to feel heard. The lunch table they sit at determines what group or what group of people they feel they belong most with. The lunch table someone sits down at can often exemplify who you are.  

Now of course people don’t normally think this deeply into it but if you sat down and really thought about it, it’s much more cavernous than meets the eye.  

I talked to sophomore Avery Cox about her thoughts on the lunch tables and here’s what she had to say, “I think that there’s a table for everyone, unless you’re a loner—but it’s like the country club kids sit at one table, the smart kids sit at another, the people that smoke weed, the people that act like furies and then the rest are just friends with each other” This displays that there are certain groups and if you don’t sit with a certain group, you either sit with a couple of friends or you choose to sit alone. 

The people you surround yourself with can often exhibit who you are more than you yourself can, it shines a light on what kind of person you are and the influence you have, as well as the interactions you hold with other people. Attitudes people have can be contagious and when you’re around a certain type, it can eventually rub off on you. Another element that contributes to a person drive to sit at a certain table is that we all need our identity supported. Most people aren’t confident enough, especially as a high school student, to feel good in their own skin. We need reassurance from other people, so the people you chose to hang out with are most of the time the ones that are the most encouraging. They reaffirm who you are.  

So, to conclude, who you sit with at lunch reveals much more about you than you think. Us as humans are hard-wired to fit in. We are deep-rooted to want to feel confident and assured as the person we are and the people we select to fraternize with reflects not only how we hold ourselves on the outside but how we hold ourselves on the inside as well.