As we break from class and trek to the NAC cafeteria for lunch, it’s hard not to notice the loud chatter, not our own. Why? Because the cafeteria is no longer a place to eat in peace, but filled with high school students. CCNY students wonder, “Who are these kids? Are they on some college field trip or something?”
The answer is no. They are students from the High School of Math, Science and Engineering (HSMSE) here on campus. The school, made up of some 425 8th – 12th graders, offers teens the chance to study in a college environment, with enhanced resources and equipment, while still maintaining a high school layout of scheduled class periods, lunch calendars, and sport’s teams.
Despite first impressions, the students that share our lunch space, strive to be talented young achievers, balancing the years of adolescence and a demanding college-level curriculum. Daniel Droste, a HSMSE 11th grade student, explains, “I had to take a test to get in here. The courses are pretty intense but you know pretty much everyone after the first year. I got to meet a lot of kids interested in the same things as me.”
Still, all many CCNY College students see are a bunch of rowdy kids. Isaiah Lewis (CCNY Student) shares his concern. “Even though they [HSMSE students] have to follow their schedule,” says Isaiah Lewis, a CCNY student, “it really doesn’t seem logical to place them with the college students especially during their lunch period.”
However, Shana Cole feels differently. “Where else are they going to eat?” asks the CCNY student. ” We only have one main cafeteria. If you think about it they act pretty much the same as us college students do sometimes.”