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Dweeb! Single Tables Force Students to Relive Middle School Trauma


Friendship. Laughter. College. Salad. Memories. Booths. Almost ripe fruit. Long lines for pasta.

Penn dining facilities used to be a lively hub of student life, the entire university revolving around what the special entree would be that day. When students entered dining facilities, they were immediately filled with the most euphoric of feelings. During meals, students would jump and skip between the tables after being overcome with glee. One student even petitioned the university to make the left-back booth in Hill his official dorm room. However, when the pandemic hit, students went home, and the harmonic sounds of bright minds conversing, jesting, and bantering disappeared from the dining halls. 

Hill, McClellan, Commons, Kings Court grew dim without us.  The dining halls now empty, cold deserts. 

The Penn administration believed that indoor dining would bring us together, rebuild normalcy. However, all it has accomplished is conjuring up long-suppressed memories of the middle school war zone of the cafeteria. As soon as they sit down at their single table, students partaking in Penn’s indoor dining option are overwhelmed with flashbacks of the horrors of adolescence. During meals, students sitting alone scream out in agony: “I’m getting my braces off next week, I promise!” One student even broke down crying, muttering to himself: “But, my mother tells me I’m beautiful.” 

Keep your head down, eat your food quickly, avoid eye contact. These are the new rules.

Isolation. Loneliness. Discovering you hate yourself. Listening to Meghan Trainor to drown out the demons. Shorter lines for pasta.