Virtual lunch offers connection in isolation

Miramonte Wellness Center hosts Zoom connection


Chaya Tong

Miramonte students play games during lunch to maintain connection during these odd times.

Let’s face it: The period you miss the most during quarantine is lunch. You miss your club meetings, and walking down the salmon-colored hallways. You miss your friends.

Luckily, the Miramonte High School Wellness Center has the perfect solution! On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wellness is hosting “virtual lunchtime” over Zoom from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The Wellness team, consisting of advisors Savannah Rose and Andie Nashimi, host a wide range of activities for students, ranging from onlines games, to crafts, to just chatting. 

We offer a ton of activities or games. I like to go on YouTube and find step by step drawing tutorials and see how different everyone’s drawings turn out. Most of the Students like to play, this is an online version of pictionary.,” Rose said. “I like to let the students pick what games, they are way more creative than I am and come up with some great stuff.” Zoom links can be found on the Miramonte website under “Virtual Wellness Center Services.”

Students can attend virtual lunchtime to connect with friends or even new people.  “It is really nice to detox by talking to the Wellness staff about my day. Furthermore, during the normal school schedule, lunch is a time to socialize. It is really nice to talk to others and possibly meet new people,” junior Laura Boifort said. While in their usual Zoom classes, students rarely have the chance to connect with friends the way they would have during in-person learning. Lunchtime sessions offer the perfect opportunity for structured social time aside from class.

These lunchtime drop-ins can serve a broader purpose beyond pure entertainment. According to a March poll by Common Sense and SurveyMonkey, “About half of teens (48 percent) say they feel less connected than usual with their friends right now.”  

Facilitating connection is more important than ever, and the Wellness Center is doing just that.

Students Should come to Wellness lunch activities because it provides a sense of normalcy. During a normal school year the Wellness Center is packed with students who come to hang out and play games or do a craft we have available. We thought it would be helpful to try and provide that same opportunity virtually,” Rose said. Virtual lunchtime runs similarly to how the student union ran lunches during in-person school, and is an open space for the students to use. 

The purpose of these sessions is for social time rather than counseling. 

 “The Well is a great place to interact with others. While people can get mental health resources at the Well, these lunches are mainly just for socializing. Don’t be deterred from coming by to hang out!” Boifort said. 

The Wellness Center also offers other services beyond the virtual lunchtimes. Individual counseling appointments can be scheduled at any time by emailing the Wellness team. For one-on-one socializing, students can casually drop into a Zoom call (via the links on the Wellness Center website page) on Wednesdays and Fridays during lunch for a quick “how’s it going?” with Savannah Rose. In addition, the “Bring Change to Mind” club will start holding club meetings through the Wellness Center.

Walking through the hallways at school and sitting at a table with your friends just isn’t possible during distance learning. But that doesn’t mean connection isn’t. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no excuse to miss the arguably best period of the day.