January 27, 2016
Marcus, Year 11, Century Park Campus
Amongst of all my favourite things about lunch at YCIS, none of them have to do with the food. Sure, we have tasty options, but what I love about lunch isn't the meat we get served, or the different kinds of spices the chefs use. Instead, lunch at YCIS is more of a social event than it is a gastronomic one – people from vastly different corners of the planet coming together under one roof, bringing distinctly different stories, cultures, and perspectives with them.
Yes, I know you've probably heard it before – “Our school is so special because it's international!” However, YCIS is not just another international school. You see, unlike some other schools located in Shanghai, our campus is a small community, and that's why I love it so much. During lunch, we gather not just as classmates, but as a tightly-knit family.
A lot of my close friends are in other classes, and I spend less time with them than I'd like. Lunch enables us to reconnect amidst the assignments, projects, and coursework. However, socialising doesn't stop at that. There are many perks of being a smaller school, perhaps the most important of them being that everyone knows everyone, resulting in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Some of my fondest memories at YCIS have been of new students not being afraid to join us at our lunch table to acquaint themselves with our group. It is a genuinely heartwarming and humbling experience to see them so eager to get to know us – and us to know them – despite the fact that just the day before we would have been complete strangers. In fact, so many new students that have joined our grade began their YCIS journey eating at our table that it is joked to be the “table of initiation”. This is just one of the many things about YCIS lunch that I love.