A New Battle for Warriors: Making it to First Period Before the Bell Rings


Tanner Adams

Taxing Tardies: Pictured above is senior Evelyn Iwanicki frustrated with the HealthCheck app that although necessary, is ultimately responsible for many morning tardies. The notorious elevators and stairs are an additional obstacle Dubs face in getting to first period on time.

Making it to first period on time is a feat in and of itself. Most high schoolers in the world struggle to get to class before the first bell rings, but scaling 11 floors just to get to first period is a unique aspect of being a student at North Atlanta. While some students may be punctual enough to get to school earlier than 5 minutes before class starts, most are not. Newly added challenges such as the Health Check survey and extremely slow elevators only make getting to class on time that much harder.

One of the most loathed parts about attending school during a worldwide pandemic is the dreaded Health Check Survey. This five-question COVID survey ends with either a red or green screen letting administrators know whether or not you passed the test that allows you into school (yes, a test before you even get inside the building). While taking the questionnaire does not take very long, the line that forms while waiting to get your screen checked by an administrator becomes lengthy. With two administrators checking phones and 2,000+ students trying to get into the building, you can imagine how such a long line could form. “Even if I get to school with enough time to get to my first class, the health check always delays me and makes me late,” said junior Duskin Balch.

For students lucky enough to have their first period on the 4th, 5th, 6th, or even 7th floors, it is smooth sailing once inside. However, for students whose first class lies on the 8th floor and up, the challenge continues. Whether a student chooses to ride the elevators or climb the stairs, each option is timely. A recent complaint of students is the slow-moving elevators. Not only do they take forever to reach the floor you are waiting on, but they also fill up so quickly that your chances of actually getting in one are slim. Once inside the elevator, the movement from floor to floor is extremely slow, especially if there are lots of people getting off on different floors. The stairs aren’t that much better. The seemingly endless flights of stairs combined with wearing a mask result in a very out-of-breath arrival to class. “The elevators are the slowest thing ever. After pressing the button, you stand there forever,” said senior Evelyn Iwanicki. “Most times you don’t even make it in the actual elevator because they fill up so fast. We need faster elevators!”

So honestly, if you manage to make it to your first class on time, pat yourself on the back because it’s not easy. Students could always just wake up earlier and plan accordingly for the extra time it takes them to make it from the front doors to their first class, but if there’s one thing these Dubs love more than a morning dash to class, it’s sleep!