It’s third period, you’re sitting in your math class taking an extremely difficult test. You’re trying to focus on the equations in front of you, but something is begging for your undivided attention. You can feel the growl building up and your breathing becomes heavy and your arms begin to quiver. Your forehead begins to sweat and tears begin to form in your sockets. You take a swig of your water praying that it will fill your stomach enough to stop the rupture, but alas. You grab the sides of your seat and brace yourself. Your stomach screams a terrible, gurgully cry to the class. You can feel the power of the growl as your entire abdomen shakes and erupts like a volcano. You grab your stomach and clench the folds in an effort to muffle your body’s inner workings, but it’s too late. Your peers are so startled they’ve dropped their pencils and calculators. They glance over at you wondering if that was your stomach or your compressed cheeks. You make eye contact with a fellow student and see nothing but fear in their eyes. You stand up and pretend to blow your nose to escape the tension around you.
This scenario is all too familiar to many of the students here at Davis High School. Stomach growling is a rising epidemic that has taken over the peace of almost every classroom. Anxiety rates during tests have sky rocketed because of the silence that surrounds students suffering from this issue.
“When the class is silent and food is not allowed to be consumed, my body sounds like a demon is trapped inside me and is trying to whisper a curse to the class,” stated Lauren Rusnell, a senior at Davis.
“I’ve never been so self concious of my body in my life. I have nightmares about how my body reacts in silent classrooms and wake up in a cold sweat,” added Annie Haycock, a sophomore.
So what can we do to fix this frightening issue? Much of the problem revolves around the fact that some teachers don’t allow food in their classrooms. They don’t realize that when you spend 4 hours thinking, reading, and creating, you’re going to get a little hungry. The 6 minutes in between classes is not enough time to consume a snack, or use the restroom for that matter. We aren’t allowed to take care of ourselves throughout the day with the strict policies we have on when we are allowed to do normal human necessities.
Another correlation is the silence of the classrooms. Students should be quiet and respectful when teachers are teaching and when taking tests, however having a room so quiet that you can hear everyone breathing is a little drastic. I have found that when teachers have classical music playing in the background while I’m taking a test, I perform a lot better. Not having to worry about the sounds my body is making and just focusing on the task in front of me greatly reduces my stress and anxiety. Teachers need to be more aware of these issues since it affects way more students than they may think.
At the end of the day, it would be really nice if everyone could accept that we are all human beings. Our bodies do things that are “embarrassing”, but they’re essential to our survival. When we burp, we should applaud each other. If we release some inner gasses, we should pat our peers on the back. When our stomachs decide to make whale mating call noises, we should be impressed with other’s amazing abilities. It comes down to the fact that Ariana Grande belches all the time. Prince Harry may step off a curb, become startled, and his bum may squeak. And almost everyone at Davis has a story to tell of a time when their hungry stomach erupted. If this could become the norm, we wouldn’t feel so afraid when our bodies started talking to us in the middle of a test. So next time you or someone else is experiencing a brutal hunger attack, don’t judge them, give them a good hug and a piece of beef jerky.