One of the biggest reliefs as a senior is the feeling of signing out and going out for your first open campus. Seniors at Governor Livingston are granted the privilege to leave campus during their lunch period. They can choose to go home or head to a local spot. When their lunch backups to study hall, students get to enjoy two hours out of school. 

This experience feels like a blessing until you experience the stress of getting stuck in traffic and fearing that you’ll be late to your post-open campus classes. And that risk isn’t worth the punch to your open campus card, which could lead to a loss of privileges.

Senior Pranav Cansula said, “The first time going out for open campus felt great. It’s just nice sometimes to step outside and just take a break from the hectic stuff we face day to day. On the down side, sometimes it can be expensive and the time constraints of getting back to school can feel stressful.”

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Many students have their favorite spots around town that they rotate through based on the amount of time they have and who else is available to go with them. The students tend to stick to two of the closest towns, New Providence or Summit, when seeking out new places for lunch.

 But some will head home for food, a quick nap, or to get something that was left behind. Kendarley Robert said that he goes home because he usually forgot something there.

Starbucks is a popular choice for students to grab an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up before the rest of their classes. Very often students will put in orders to bring back drinks for friends who could not go out. 

A frequent Starbucks customer, Olivia Mastria said, “I go basically every day that I go for open campus. I go with my friends after we eat lunch, and I like that I can order from my mobile app and it’ll be there to pick up when I finish lunch.”

Another reliable establishment students turn to is Chipotle. It’s close to the school, and they are fast in getting orders out. Rachel Greene said, “My favorite thing is a burrito bowl, I go about once a week, and I always go with my friends.”

Students who go out tend to favor restaurants that get them in and out quickly, and are inexpensive. Senior Jeffrey Stepien said, “If I need to go somewhere close I go to Coppola’s. The cheesesteak is my go to.” 

The students who have more time can go further from the school and even try new places. Stepien added, “If I have some time I’ll go onto [Route] 22 and go to Panda Express.”

Open Campus is a great opportunity for students to get out and clear their heads, get a change of pace, and refresh from long days at school. It also allows them to assume some responsibility in order to keep this privilege while also feeling trusted to leave the campus. Although the schools are not open anymore, these were the places they liked to go when they had the opportunity during the year. 

Editor's Note: Students at Gov. Livingston High School have been learning virtually online since mid-March due to the Governor's Executive Order that closed the school buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.