8 NYC high school students ate lunch outside in a frigid park — only to eat it alone

Eight students ate lunch outside in a frigid New York City park on Saturday in hopes of social distance.

The students from Hartsbrook High School in Howard Beach, Queens, gathered at Gate 8 on Rockaway Beach to enjoy an inexpensive trip to the park over unheated recess, the New York Post reported.

It was 52 degrees on Saturday, the Sun Sentinel reported. It was the hottest day of the year so far.

High school freshmen Sarah Horne and Madison Kelley decided on an escape plan.

The two wanted to social distance themselves from the elementary school students they were accustomed to facing over their break.

“You’re always in physical proximity, even for something like recess,” Horne said. “This way we’re social distance.”

Dressed in their workout clothes, the high schoolers were eager to bundle up with coats and scarves, but were determined to have a good time and avoid the steamy indoor recess they have done all of their lives.

The students held each other and focused on the hardscape, like a grassy hill for balance. They laughed and played “coconut” with plastic knives and forks as a sprinkler sprayed water onto the ground.

“We’re going to run around like this even though it’s cold,” senior Emily Appel said.

They, like other high school students, eat their lunch in the cafeteria in order to avoid face-to-face interactions with the kids who skipped school, the New York Post reported.

Having lunch outside seemed less awkward, even though the girls ran across the lawn at the breakneck speed of their younger classmates, giddily scraping their fingers together and slurping their food.

They were also able to smell the flowers and natural landscapes and enjoy those exotic experiences they have grown up with in their neighborhoods, rather than the cruel gaze of a war room inside, where they had been tested on their interest in internships and required work.

“We have never been outside like this,” Horne said. “This is awesome. All the isolation of the cafeteria is gone.”

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