The Lion's Roar

Lunch Club in Walsh Gym

Sean Tomasetto, Staff Writer

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Students everywhere have begun to set up programs to ensure that kids sitting alone at lunch always have somewhere to go and eager friends to talk to, and Cherry Hill West is no different. Sierra Smith and Ana Dorvil showcase their West compassion with their new lunch-table group.

“So I came here my sophomore year and I didn’t know anybody at Cherry Hill so I was really sitting alone at lunch,” Ana recounts. “Then I met Sierra and we became really good friends, and it felt good not sitting alone at lunch anymore. It felt so embarrassing.”

The idea is to dedicate a few tables in the gym to the lunch-table group, where students are encouraged to go if they want company.

“We’ll have two to three tables in the gym with a banner on top,” Ana says. “We’re gonna start it immediately so as soon as we have all these tables set up in the gym and everybody can come sit with us and we can all become new friends.”

“Yeah, we’re open arms over here,” Sierra agrees. “Everyone is welcome.”

When asked about the difference between actual loneliness and students actively choosing to sit at lunch alone, Sierra says, “Loneliness is when you feel like you don’t have anyone there for you and you kinda need somebody else in your life, you could say, so it’s as if you want someone or something there to be there with you. I think people choose to sit alone personally because it’s their time to regroup for the day.”

“And the choice is like if somebody is really anti-social and enjoys being by themselves, then that’s no problem, it’s your choice.” Ana says.

When asked if there’s anything else they’d like to add:

“We’re really cool and friendly.” Ana says.

“Be ready to make new friends.” Sierra says. “We talk a lot, and you will be included in the conversation.

Additional information on programs other schools have started to fight the problem of sitting alone at lunch, as well as information about loneliness versus the choice of sitting alone, can be found at the links below.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/15/494074992/teen-creates-app-so-bullied-kids-never-have-to-eat-alone

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/09/do-some-kids-choose-to-sit-alone/500057/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/high-school-students-start-club-to-make-sure-no-one-sits-alone-at-lunch_us_58c6cdb6e4b0ed71826e51b8

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Lunch Club in Walsh Gym