By Maclaine Willett, editor-in-chief
High school students, and I know from current experience, always have something that they wish the school had. A new vending machine with better snacks. A longer vacation. A later start time. Whatever the wish may be, almost every student has this one thing that they dream about for their school experience. Mine will always and forever be a café. Picture a quaint and quick coffee shop seated in the Hall of the Whale or the front lobby, providing students with the fuel that they need to continue their stressful days in the form of croissants and lattes.
Some may think that having a café in the school is a crazy or unnecessary idea. Sure, there may be other pressing things that deserve the money that would be put into the coffee shop. Yes, expanding the school may be the most pressing of all considering our growing population, but this coffee shop does not need to cut into the budget that drastically. I am not implying that the school makes this a gourmet café with millions of different options and delicacies, rather just a simple and fast option for students that need a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day. Even just a fresh juice or a cookie could be the source of a brighter day for a student who needed that treat.
Continuing on the budget and money ideas, something must be said about the profits that this café could bring in for the school. If the café were to be approved, students would most definitely spend ample amounts of money on the treats, bringing in a little extra profit that can go right back into the school. It would be like in the “Field of Dreams,” where “If you build it, they will come.” This is the same scenario. If the school puts a café in the building, students will use it and it will become a very popular destination in the building.
Think about the stress that high school students have to go through during these four very hard and vital years of their life. I, for one, have had days where I nearly crash in the middle of the school day due to exhaustion from staying up the night prior to do homework, although this is obviously my own doing since I am the one who procrastinates horrendously. Yes, I will admit we are usually tired because of our own habits. Teenagers procrastinate…a lot.
But, maybe adding this delicacy to the school would help us get through those tiresome days. A quick trip between classes to the café could be a good chance to get some caffeine into our growing bodies when we most need it. Even if it is not caffeine, even a small bite to eat may be the key for some students. Science will tell you, everyone should eat within two or so hours of waking up for optimal mental and physical health benefits. I know many of my friends choose to wake up later in the morning and do not eat breakfast. I also know people that are simply not hungry that early in the morning, but the hunger hits them like a train around 9:00 am, in their second block. A café could help this issue and make all of us students more eager and energized to learn.
Consider the teachers and staff as well, who work tirelessly all day to accommodate the students. I am sure that after dealing with us, they need a pick-me-up. I will admit, we can be a lot to handle. So, teachers and staff could benefit from this just as much.
As for the actual café itself, the issue of who will run it and actually make the food and drinks can have many solutions. I think the best would be to have the administration advertise this opportunity to the community, and any existing business or a new one can have the chance to take the spot. I think it would be really exciting if a whole new business was started solely for the purpose of being the school’s own café. It could be something that remains in the school forever, a staple to the culture of NHS. A student in Graphic Design class could even design the logo! And this could be an opportunity for someone in our community who seeks a job like this but is having trouble starting their own business, or finding a place to rent. The space in the school would not have to be large, so the money that this owner would put in would not be as much as renting a building in town.
Continuing on this point, the owner, if they were open to it, of course, could offer up slots for students to work the café to earn volunteer hours. If the café were to stay open after school, this is the time where volunteering could be possible for students. This could help with giving the person manning the café a rest and also providing a solid opportunity to rack up some of those important volunteer hours. What better way to have a student earn volunteer hours and help their community than practice being a part of the business world right in the school? Students that don’t have any prior commitments or extracurricular activities after school to attend, could help out in the café.
I know some may say it would be unnecessary for the café to stay open after school, but a lot more students stay after school than one would think. Many students enjoy taking advantage of the time available to meet with teachers one-on-one, whether it be about schoolwork or personal issues. So, a little snack or drink after their last class and before meeting with this teacher could be the key to some energy for the rest of their afternoon.
Personally, I see only pros with this proposal for a café in the high school. There are no cons to this idea, no huge issues that this would cause. How cool would it be if NHS had its own personal café, built from scratch and remaining as a landmark in the school? It would add a spark to the students’ lives in the building, considering school happens to be a place where this spark may be a little burnt out at times. Teenagers get tired, hungry, even ravenous, so why not provide this little luxury to aid in destressing us?
There is no harm in a little treat here and there, and I think a café in the high school would be a great option to keep NHS students going in their hard work. We need fuel to help build our brains and fill our heads with knowledge, and a café would be the flame to our fire.