At school, lunch is my time to steal off to the library. I really enjoy the freedom. There aren’t any teachers telling me where to go or what to do. It’s my time to be me, my time to be free. The library is peaceful, calm, and stocked full of almost any kind of book I can imagine. That alone is enough to keep me there for hours on end. In the past few weeks, though, I’ve discovered so much more.
First, I saw there was a new couch. There were already half a dozen individual sofas, but they have annoyingly noisy plastic coverings, and they aren’t easy to fall asleep in–unless you’re really wiped. This new couch has three cushions and five pillows or so. It’s soft, plushy, and smells faintly of dust, like a grandma’s house. Off to the left, there are two tables very low to the ground, surrounded by a few bean bag chairs. There’s a chess board, the game of Life, Clue, and a few more games–checkers, probably. Another table has a whiteboard surface. There’s a box of dry erase markers on it, and a sign that says “Think Out Loud.” It’s covered in drawings, writing, names–things inside teenagers’ minds.
I looked around the library and saw a guy with his hoodie over his face, curled up on that grandmotherly couch, so motionless that he looked like he could be in REM sleep. Sitting on those plastic couches was another group of students, chatting about God knows what. It annoyed me, as I come to the library for a break, but they were relaxing like I was all the same. Two girls were playing Life together. Another girl was across the whiteboard table from me, scribbling away with her headphones in.
There are some who would say that all these new library additions are stupid wastes of time. We should be studying and preparing for “the real world.” The thing is, though, that high school students are bombarded with this already. Many of us are at school for more hours than we’ve slept. At our core, we’re still kids. High schoolers need time to play, too. We all do. We’re all kids inside, and there are few things more beautiful than taking a break and letting ourselves be children again.