Sit With Us app links students with friends

Sit With Us app links students with friends

Serra Raquel, Entertainment Editor

For most students, the lunch bell signals a time to join friends to relax and socialize. But not all students look forward to lunch. For these students, it can be the loneliest time of the day.

To help students, 16-year-old Natalie Hampton from Sherman Oaks, Calif., designed an app called “Sit With Us” which helps students find friends to sit with at lunch.

Hampton experienced isolation in seventh grade, where she said that she ate lunch alone for the entire year and experienced bullying as a result.
“Sit With Us” allows students to deem themselves “ambassadors” to invite other students to join their table at lunch. Students can post “open lunch” events at their table which allows other students that have the app to see that they can join an ambassador’s table.

Hampton created the app to help combat bullying. The “open lunch” events that the app creates provide a place for students to go if they are uncomfortable eating alone.

“If it wasn’t for the app, and you sat down with other people, they would be a little standoffish, so this way you know they’re inviting you,” junior Andrea Silveira said.

The app also has a messaging system that helps students stay in touch and create new friends.

In an interview with Audie Cornish for Capital Public Radio, Hampton said “Sit With Us” is useful for students who feel uncomfortable asking to join a table.

“I tried many times to reach out to someone [at lunch], but I was rejected many times,” Hampton said. “And you feel like you’re labeling yourself as an outcast when you ask to join a table with someone you don’t know. This way it’s very private. It’s through the phone. No one else has to know. And you know that you’re not going to be rejected once you get to the table.”

Other students can relate to Hampton’s experience with trying to find a place to sit during lunch.

“If kids aren’t that social, other kids can invite them to come sit with them at their table and make new friends,” Silveira said.
It is common for some students to be uncertain of where they should sit at lunch.

“When I was a freshman, all the upperclassmen took all the tables, so me and a couple friends sat on the stage because we had no tables to go to,” sophomore Lauren Gahn said.

Some students feel very uncomfortable not knowing anyone.

“I had anxiety. . . and you just look around and you don’t know anybody,” Silveira said.

The possibility of Bear Creek students utilizing the “Sit With Us” app has garnered positive feedback from students. “Open lunch” events on campus could provide a place to make new friends.

“It could help benefit [students] so that nobody feels like they’re alone at all times,” junior Alyssa Tarabini said. “People can start making friends, rather than always being by themselves.”

“I think it will bring the campus together and people won’t be sitting alone,” Gahn said.
Some students are eager to use the app themselves.

“If there are any new students, they don’t have to feel left out,” sophomore Abigal Lo said. “If I ever see someone sitting or standing by themselves, I would invite them to my table.”