Article By: Selina de Dios

Systems: interdependent elements coming together to form a whole. While some are more complex than others, they all serve the same purpose. Some of these systems are fascinating, yet, despite years of research, they remain unexplainable. Others, however, are clearly man-made. Stoplights, for example. These luminescent flashing bulbs are placed on street corners to direct traffic and prevent accidents – pretty simple. While systems like these are put in place for noble reasons, sometimes it is necessary to break the system. Now, that is no way a suggestion to speed through the next red light on the road, but instead an encouragement to be open to new systems.

Over the summer, multiple renovations took place in ISM, the most noticeable one likely being the reconstruction of the ISM canteen, now known as the Kantina. While the majority of the students were excited for the updated look, as well as the brand new vendors, others were plagued by the sudden realization that they would have to look for seats all over again. There has always been an unspoken seating arrangement in the canteen. Every freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior would know what areas were theirs, and which ones were not. This system has been in places for so many years, and this year it was suddenly broken.

When asked about her own experience on the first day when trying to figure out the Kantina, sophomore Madison M. stated that she “felt frustrated and confused when trying to find where to sit. Everything was laid out so nicely last year; everyone knew where to go and it never changed…but this year it was hassle to find a new spot, claim it, and keep it.” Similarly, senior Sienna H. shared, “I was feeling extremely stressed because I was afraid that there wouldn’t be a spot that would allow all the girls to sit together the way it’s always been.” Although it was tough for both of them to settle in, when each grade claimed its territory, everything was ultimately sorted out.

Now that each grade has its own new designated areas, students are trying to orientate themselves in order to keep this system in place when they move on to the next grade. Madison M. shares that she “likes when grades have their own designated areas because it’s easy to know where people are and what areas to stay away from. Also it’s kind of cool seeing where your spot in the next years will be.” However, at the same time she acknowledges that, “in some respects having undesignated areas makes it less awkward to mingle with anyone you want. It doesn’t feel like you’re “overstepping a boundary” so much. So it’s kind of nice.” Despite the initial feelings of fear and anxiousness, the students of ISM, in true Bearcat spirit, accepted the change.

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