The FIFA World Cup makes its way to Jefferson

Anxiously waiting for Mexico or Poland to score a goal, students eat lunch and focus on the game in Turing commons. “We are not learning anything during this time so it is fun to watch with everyone,” freshman Mohammed Hashemi stated.

Aryaa Sharma, Staff Writer

All eyes are glued to the screen, anticipating the foreseeable future. Everyone watching has the same fear lingering in their minds; will their team fumble the goal? Chatting with their friends is not an option for these dedicated viewers. At this moment, it feels like they are participating in the match itself, nervously waiting for their teammate to kick. Soon enough, the player shoots….and he scores! Eyes widen, hands are thrown up, and cheers are heard not only in the stadium, but around the commons at Jefferson as well.

The start of the matches in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup has sparked interests within the Jefferson student body, forming strong connections with fellow classmates. Most students are found watching the World Cup in Hopper, Galileo, and Turing Commons.  Whether a student goes to one of the commons or simply walks around the school, they are guaranteed to find a group of people huddled over a tiny computer screen or a cluster of students focusing on the projector display, all watching the same soccer match at the same time.

“I love watching the World Cup at school during lunch because it is [really] a great sense of community and everyone joins together to watch it,” freshman Vedha Paidipally said.

Paidipally’s sense of community fostered from the World Cup is agreed with other students as well.

“I really think [the World Cup] unites the community because there are many different cultures that come together to share this one interest of soccer,” freshman Ishita Sengar said.

While some students might not be as interested in the soccer matches, they tag along with their enthusiastic friends to see what the hype is all about.

“I like watching the World Cup during school because all of my friends are here and it’s fun in general,” freshman Smaran Kudapa said. 

Throughout the community the FIFA matches has unintentionally formed at TJ, feelings of disappointment and happiness are also shared among students. After the historic and unexpected win of Saudi Arabia against Argentina, sophomore Hussain Al-Sadig showed up to school with much spirit.

“[This morning,] Saudi Arabia beat Argentina, and that’s my home country, so I had to go all out,” Al-Sadig said.

Al-Sadig also agrees on the bonds the soccer matches have strengthened.

“The World Cup alone is the most interesting thing, especially the fact that it’s in Qatar. [It’s like] when you go with your classmates, it’s as if you’re there. Like, I’ll be honest, I was begging my mom to go to Qatar. But now that I’m here, it’s way better to be here with your friends. So, it’s enjoyable overall.”

Students do not only watch the World Cup during lunch or before the school day starts, however. Many teachers throughout the school play the live match or highlights during class, allowing students to work on their assignments while staying updated. 

Throughout the duration of the 64 matches played in the World Cup, many watch parties are held in the Jefferson building. From facilitating conversation to nourishing friendships and bonds, the World Cup has positively impacted Jefferson unexpectedly.