Don’t hate, just tailgate


Jessica Streich

Students from the senior class spend time setting up tailgates when an off-campus lunch can’t be arranged. Senior Matt La Bounty keeps small tables in his car for the group to use, as well as various games to stay entertained.

The chaos of lunch: it all starts with a simple bell causing an invasion of hungry juniors and seniors to swarm towards the parking lot. With a strict tardy system, upperclassmen strive to find a way to enjoy an off campus lunch, but avoid the traffic, lines and stress of it all.

A group of seniors decided a better way to spend lunch would be to simply skip all the hassle by tailgating—in the school parking lot.

“The tailgating is a way to be with all of your friends and have fun without technically being on campus,” senior Kari Fiske said. “We have more time to eat and hang out than all of the other kids who go buy food.”

These seniors bring chairs, tables, games, music and occasionally pizza to make their lunch experience as fun and comfortable as possible. The money spent on food and gas when going off campus for lunch is saved with tailgating. Also, with the lines out the door at most of the Carlsbad lunch hot spots, these seniors eat their lunch in peace without many time constraints.

“It’s not only a challenge to get back on campus on time when you go out to lunch, but when we are at the restaurant, we have almost no time to eat and hang out,” senior Samuel Horan said. “So when we tailgate, we don’t have to worry about the rush to get back in time since we stay.”

The new tardy system brings more pressure upon the upperclassmen to plan out their lunches so they arrive back at school by the time the bell rings. Most of the time, all the streets around the school and the parking lot grow crowded and congested, cutting into valuable lunch time. Though there are many different streets leading to the school, during the 50-minute lunch period, traffic is inevitable.

“There are so many people all trying to go to the same restaurants at the same time, it gets crazy out there,” Fiske said. “I have been going out to lunch since sophomore year, and I feel like we’ve finally figured out how to effectively spend lunch.”

The senior lunch tailgate has not only made new traditions, but also memories. Although lunch is mainly a time for eating, these seniors found a way to blend socializing and eating without chaos and with pure enjoyment.

“It’s such a great alternative to going and getting food somewhere,” senior Courtney Haubach said. “We have so much fun and we all get to be together to enjoy our last year in high school.”