"One is the loneliest number..." that is an old song by the Three Dog Night released back in 1969. Now I realize that many of you reading this don't know that song but many remember it quite well. I thought those lyrics fit well with the blog today because today's blog is about reaching out to those in our school who may feel like the number one... alone.
I think one of the things that bothers me and really hurts to see, is someone sitting alone at lunch. We are now in week 6 of the school year and I still see a couple students sitting alone in the cafeteria. I don't know if any of you have ever had to sit alone, but it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Just think about the times you have sat down at lunch and your friends are still in the lunch line. You may sit there for three or four minutes alone, but it feels like a life time. Sitting alone is very awkward because you feel that all eyes are upon you. The student who sits alone may wonder "what is wrong with me that no one wants to sit with me?" The student who is alone usually doesn't want to go up to a table and ask to sit down because they fear rejection. It has probably happened to them before and they don't want that lousy feeling again.
I have sat down with some of these students and they are great kids. They have a lot to offer but may be just a little shy. What I am hoping is that some of our student ambassadors or our National Technical Honor students, if you read this, would either ask them to sit with your table or maybe you will be the one that goes over to their table and sits with them. I hope that you would try to imagine being in their shoes for even a day and realize how sad and lonely that situation can be. As leaders of the school, I hope you will make the effort. Reach out and be a friend. You have no idea how much this could impact someones life.
Ms. Wurth showed me a new app for Iphone (not available on Android yet) that was developed by an 11th grader in Sherman Oaks, California. It is titled "Sit With Us". The way that it works is it's a free lunch-planning app where kids can find lunch tables if they feel like they have nowhere to go. Kids can sign up as ambassadors for a Sit With Us club and agree to post open lunches so that anyone who has the app and has nowhere to go can find a table and, hopefully, make some new friends. The student who created this app states that "I tried many times to reach out to someone, but I was rejected many times. 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".
The app is just an alternative that you may want to try. I really don't care how you go about it, but please, make the effort to reach out to someone who is all by themselves. You may come away with a brand new friendship or at least know that you will have made someones day.