Students socialize with their friends through lunchtime phone calls


Adalie Bucher waves while FaceTiming her friends outside. Photo by Grace Trammell.

The quintessential school lunch that includes students in packed lunchrooms, full tables and loud conversation is one of many things changed by COVID-19. Although lunch at home is quite different, students have found a way to return some sense of normalcy to the situation by participating in lunchtime phone calls with friends. These calls have become a bright spot for students such as Mya Aldrich.


“Sometimes sitting in front of the computer all day can be really tiring, so I definitely look forward to [lunch] where I am able to relax and talk to my friends instead of stressing about school work,” Aldrich said.


Despite being in uncertain times, students like Justin Kuo and Michaella Leonor have been communicating with their friends through these calls like normal. To Kuo, the chaos and familiarity of lunch remains, regardless of being online or in person.

“Lauren plays her ukulele, I’m singing, Adrian is using his clown filter, Gianna is yelling at us, Cady is sending embarrassing pictures of us, and Marie yells at me for not helping her with her homework,” Kuo said.

Lauren plays her ukulele, I’m singing, Adrian is using his clown filter, Gianna is yelling at us, Cady is sending embarrassing pictures of us, and Marie yells at me for not helping her with her homework.”

— Justin Kuo


For Leonor, calls are more mellow, but still contain spontaneous and entertaining moments. 


“Usually, I sit outside if I need to talk with my friends, but we just put our faces on call and do what we would usually do if we were outside. We mess around and sometimes do some unintentional house tours, as well as helping each other out with homework,” Leonor said.


While these students agree that lunchtime phone calls are not ideal, one of the few benefits they do have over in-person lunches, is the ability to talk with people from other schools. Leonor, for one, has been taking advantage of this opportunity. 


“My favorite part about lunch calls is that when I call my friends, it includes my friends from Rocklin, so it’s easier to communicate with them,” Leonor said.


Due to the current situation, it can be a struggle to make new friends. Though the idea of meeting new people online can seem daunting, Kuo shares some good advice.


“Don’t be afraid to DM new people or reach out, that’s how I’ve made two new friends,” Kuo said.


Even though students are able to see their friends during these calls, there are differing opinions on whether it is enough social interaction for them.


Kuo believes that it is.


“I think it is enough socialization because I am able to still play games and talk about the normal things we do anyways,” Kuo said.


Leonor also agrees with this line of thought. 


“Honestly, I’ve gotten used to little to no social interaction due to quarantine, so yes, lunch calls have definitely been enough social interaction for me,” Leonor said.


Adalie Bucher, however, disagrees.


“Lunch calls never seem to satisfy my social interaction in the same way that being in person with my friends does,” Bucher said.


Another person who would prefer more socialization is Aldrich.


“The daily calls have not been enough social interaction for me. I like to hang out with my friends in person, even though it’s still fun to talk whenever we can over the phone, it’s not exactly the same,” Aldrich said.


Even with these varying opinions, all four students agreed they are just happy to be able to interact and laugh with their friends once again. 


Aldrich said, “[It’s great] being able to talk to my friends and stay up-to-date on everyone’s lives, although not being there in person [is hard] we still all try our best to embrace this new situation.”