This teen made an anti-bullying app so that people would have someone to sit with at lunch

School and high school can be a brilliant and amazing time for many people. Yet, high school can also be completely and utterly terrifying. Maneuvering your life in a new environment can be hard, as can making friends and finding your crowd of people. It’s why the age old stereotype of having no one to sit with at lunch is so prevalent.


While Rory Gilmore might have enjoyed eating lunch by herself in high school, we know that we had moments where we’d look around a bustling cafeteria and realize that we didn’t know anyone and had no where to sit and no one to sit with.

This situation can only be made worse with bullies. While we love Mean Girls, the “you can’t sit with us” motto *is* rather cruel, and exclusion and bullying in schools is a real problem. Not only that, but it’s also been linked to mental health problems among many teens.

That’s why one teen decided to do something about it.

Founded by 16-year-old Natalie Hampton, “Sit With Us” is an iOS app that aims to put an end to lunch-time isolation and bullying.

Following a difficult time in middle school with bullies, Natalie decided that she wanted to do something about her difficult time.

"After I changed schools, whenever I saw someone eating lunch alone, I would always invite the person to join the group," she explains on the "Sit With Us" website. "Each time, the person's face would light up, and the look of relief would wash over the person's face. Some of those people have become some of my closest friends."


Sort of like a mini-social network, the app allows students to become ambassadors for their schools, and also permits people to host and co-ordinate lunch time events so that those without somewhere to go can find a safe and inclusive space.

The app allows you to chat, add friends, and find and create lunch events that are taking place at your school.


Speaking about the app to NPR, Natalie explained how the whole thing allowed for privacy among its users.

"I tried many times to reach out to someone, but I was rejected on 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," she told the Audie Cornish on NPR’s All Things Considered. "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."

Ahhhhh, we *HEART* this so SO much.

Natalie has said that she’s already seen the app in action at her own school and hopes that other schools across the country will pick it up, too.

We’d love to see a version of this that extends to workplaces and general day-to-day life. We know that we’d DEFINITELY go for an impromptu dinner with a group of strangers by ourselves.

You can find out more about “Sit With Us” via the website and download the app here.

[H/T Teen Vogue]

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