East Commons, you are a place we all know and (come noon, when we realize we forgot to eat earlier that morning) love. You have food, both healthy and not, tables and chairs — which all disappear between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., so there are more people walking around looking for seats than there are people actually eating. We’ve grown used to you. We’ve come to accept your quirks.
You’re one of the central spots we learn about when coming to San Diego State. I think during our first week living on campus, most of us could find you easier than we could find our way back to our halls. I’ve come to learn that any place serving food is one of the most familiar and favored places on campus. Especially when you’re willing to satisfy your Starbucks addiction without judgment. And you, East Commons, certainly fit that description.
You are a haven among buildings that hold three-hour lectures, essay assignments and final exams, especially toward the end of the year. You’re close enough to the library to offer breaks after all-day study sessions. Every day, you let us take a bite out of you.
You provide an alternative to the library as a place for a quick meeting — or a long meeting if we don’t mind dirty looks from students who have been walking around looking for a table for 20 minutes.
However, as much as I’ve come to love you during the past year, with your Panda Express and dedicated Starbucks team, I have a few harsh words.
As much as I love the fun, energetic atmosphere of students as they enjoy their lunch hours filled with books they haven’t read and deadlines they’ve missed, I don’t need to be that close to it. When I have trouble getting in and out of my seat, because each table has approximately five inches of space between itself and the next table, I consider that a problem.
Sometimes, the last available table is three or four tables in. It’s like looking at an island in the middle of the sea without having the ability to swim. All I’m saying is, I reserve the right to get in and out of my seat without looking like I’m attempting to dodge red lasers in an action movie. Because goodness knows, the last place I belong is in an action movie.
I’m not a huge fan of your loudness either. I get that we’re college students and we’re “supposed” to be all about loud noises and chaos, but that’s what parties are for. I don’t need to hear students scream at the top of their lungs about what they did at so-and-so’s house last night while I’m attempting to enjoy my orange chicken. On that note, students need to watch what they say in such crowded places. Some conversations just don’t need to be overheard, especially while we’re eating.
Lastly, I would like to recommend you invest in comfy chairs. The perfectionist side of me appreciates that all the chairs are the same and they match the tables, but the side of me that has been sitting here for the past two hours working on articles and homework (that would be my backside) does not. I know there are some fabulous office chairs that would offer comfortable support, as well as the ability to spin around in circles like a 6-year-old. They would have the dual function of being comfortable while allowing us to participate in the game of “who can spin the longest without losing their lunch.” Just a thought.
Although I’ve grown to love you, East Commons, I’m looking forward to getting away from you for the next few months. I need my space. I’m going to a place that appreciates me, has ample (and comfortable) seating and doesn’t hang out with people whose mothers forgot to teach them manners. But maybe, once we’ve both been away from each other for the summer and grown a little, we can start again. But only if you give me my Starbucks first.
—Bree Lutjens is a public relations freshman.