High school hallways are notorious for their endless seas of students. Arapahoe is no different. Throughout the day, herds of freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors alike flock to their math classes and lockers. It’s usually a frustrating experience. Some people stop without warning to engage in conversation with a friend they haven’t seen for a good thirty minutes. Others shove through the steady stream, just to stop at their locker. Of course, there’s the dreaded slow walkers. A total nightmare when first period is by the bubble and second is in science wing. As a junior, I’ve always seen the hallways as tolerable… But not this year.
After chatting with fellow juniors, we all agree: the hallways are definitely worse than past years. And it’s not just because of meandering freshmen as they navigate through the hustle and bustle.
It’s cellphones and more specifically, the new policy.
I’m not entirely opposed to Arapahoe’s recent cellphone elimination. I’ll admit I’ve found a plethora of greater attention and focus for class, without my cellphone tucked into my pocket. Yet cellphones can serve as more than just social media outlets and text message streams. With apps such as GroupMe or even the simple calculator, I’ve discovered implications when I want to use my phone for educational purposes. Though I will probably save my full opinions on the new policy for another installment, I can address the policy’s slightly unforeseen circumstance. Since students can’t check in to their cellphones in class, they now rely on passing periods. Imagine crowds of walking students, backpacks swinging and eyes cast downward, all thoroughly engaged unto their phones. I mean, I do understand. A brief break between classes spent scrolling through Instagram is perfectly acceptable in my eyes. However, what I can’t accept, is the slow-moving hoards of students crowded at every passing period. Students on their cellphones (myself included) are hardly even present. I’ve seen students trip into another, completely slow an entire group, or miss their classrooms. Such a lack of presence makes AHS hallways as slow as I-25 during rush-hour.
I like my social media break as much as anyone else, but would I sacrifice it for a swift-moving streamline across the school? I’m conflicted.
I’m unsure if any school-wide change could follow. Suspending the cellphone policy isn’t a real option, as its already been integrated into Arapahoe culture… And there can be no initiative prohibiting ‘slow walking’ in the hallway. It’s more of an individual concern. Enjoy your few minutes of social media, streaming, or whatever you feel. But acknowledge the hallway’s real purpose lay as a walkway (sometimes highway) to classes, not your cellphone policy freedom.