• Few or No Friends

How can I find friends in the school lunchroom?

Published: December 16, 2016 | Last Updated: February 10, 2017 By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
The lunchroom can be a very lonely place when you are the “new kid on the block.”



I’m in 9th grade and just moved from Ohio to Kentucky. I’m having trouble making friends. I used to go to a small school where everyone knew each other. Then, my dad’s job got transferred so we moved to Kentucky and the new school is huge.

I thought I would go in and make friends right away but it was a terrible experience. I sat with my sister at lunch the first day and I didn’t talk or eat all day. The second day, her lunch period changed and she made friends super fast but I sat in the bathroom for lunch. I started crying too, and that just made things worse. It was the longest 20 min of my life! After the bell rang, I casually walked out and went to my next class.

The next day I went out of my comfort zone and asked these girls if I could sit with them but they didn’t include me or talk to me. So the next day, I went with these sophomores that I met (because of my sister) the first day. I didn’t talk to them or eat but I felt comfortable sitting near people.

It has been five months of school and I’ve made a few friends and I’ve hung out with one person one time. But no one I know is in my lunch period.

About a week ago, my table started moving over a table one by one and today, the worst day of high school so far, I sat alone at a table. I felt so stupid and embarrassed that I didn’t eat and just sat there on my phone for what felt like hours.

I’ve seen people at lunch that are in some of my classes but I’m embarrassed to ask them if I can sit with them. I don’t know what to do tomorrow, the last day before break. I feel depressed and have no one to talk to. I’ve asked my parents to send me to a private school (there are no other public schools around) but even the cheapest is too expensive. I just want to be comfortable at school and have friends and be happy.

Signed, Sasha


Hi Sasha,

I’m sorry you’re having trouble making friends. I’ve heard many girls your age, even those with friends, who dread the cafeteria and lunchtime. Moving is hard under the best of circumstances and going from a small to a large school must feel overwhelming.

Look in your classes to find girls who have the same lunch period as you. Seek out someone who seems friendly and kind. When you find someone who seems friendly, approach her, which might be easier than going up to a whole table full of girls. Say something like, “You’re in lunch period A, aren’t you? Can I ask a favor? I’m new this year and still haven’t found a table. Can I eat at your table?”

You’re going to need to find a way to look interested and get in the conversation to be included. Make eye contact. Smile. Listen to the discussion and find times to say things like, “Me too” or what ever feels appropriate. I know how hard this can be, but if you don’t talk or at least appear like you’re listening, you won’t be embraced.

You might want to talk to your school counselor to see if there are other new girls who might need friends with whom to sit at lunch. If you notice new girls who start school mid term, approach them as potential new friends. Also, look around the cafeteria for others who might be alone and who would appreciate your company. Is there someone who lives nearby that you could get friendly with during the school break?

Try not to compare yourself to your sister and the speed at which she made friends. If you’re close with her, perhaps she can help with some suggestions or introducing you to her friends.

Good luck.

Signed, Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Comments (3)

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  1. sheryl says:

    I remember those days when things like this seemed so monumental. It’s good this girl has someone to turn to for sage advice! It’s so important now, more than ever, for kids to be able to talk out their issues.

  2. DCFem says:


    Try the app featured in the article I’ve linked to below. You never know, someone at your school could be feeling the exact same way you are right now.


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