Opening Campus, Opening Doors: Free Periods are the Best Thing to Happen to Seniors

Seniors use free periods to stretch out and get work done in a relaxed manner.

Owen Whelan

Seniors use free periods to stretch out and get work done in a relaxed manner.

One of the various privileges of being a senior is what the school calls an “open campus.” Essentially, students are allowed to leave the building when they aren’t in classes, adding another dimension to the school day. This can mean getting some fresh air during lunch or leaving school early if it comes to it.

This, at first glance, might not seem like much of an upgrade. Free periods sounded like an extended version of study halls, the standard classless period that underclassmen receive, which is geared toward getting work done. If anything, being left to my own devices meant no dedicated place to do my work, which almost felt like a drawback to being a senior. Initially, being able to leave the building during lunch sounded novel, but my mind was quick to jump to the fact that I would have almost nowhere to eat other than the cafeteria regardless. 

Instead of feeling rigidly stuck in “school mode” all day, free periods are real digestive periods that allow you to relax and get work done without distractions and on your own terms.”

— Owen Whelan

Surprisingly, I’ve found that my free periods are beyond an extension of a study hall. Being an almost college-like experience, instead of being a break from the day, they add to the day with new opportunities. Instead of feeling rigidly stuck in “school mode” all day, free periods are real digestive periods that allow you to relax and get work done without distractions and on your own terms. Even the smallest privileges such as walking out the front door to get some fresh air feel rewarding and are appreciated.

Leaving the building for lunch turns the day into an episode out of early 2010s Nickelodeon. Hanging out with friends at a picnic table, talking about what’s going on in our classes, and discussing what we want to do on the weekend. The freedom of choosing our own space adds a level of life to the day, compared to being in the building. 

Seniors enjoy some fresh air on campus during well-deserved free periods. (Owen)

It is my hope that the upcoming development in the school’s courtyard proves to expand this. With seating options and a more-than-convenient location, I look forward to what that can add to my senior experience.

I’d recommend to any senior at Nanuet to make the most of your last year of high school and enjoy the benefits you’ve earned after 3 years of high school especially coming off the cusp of Covid restrictions that limited opportunities such as these. For underclassmen, it’s yet another aspect to look forward to during your Nanuet career.