A Sense of Belonging

Campus Activities, Campus Life, City-Living, Cooperative Education

On the morning of my co-op interview at Writers Room, I woke up feeling anxious, but I threw on a sweater and walked to the studio in the spring breeze. I quickly realized it was one of the best decisions I have made. The interview was meant to last 30 minutes, but Patrice, the assistant director, and I talked for almost two hours, and I felt as though we could’ve talked much longer. I came out of the interview beaming and immediately placed a Writers Room sticker on my laptop, knowing that regardless of whether or not I got the job, I would be going there again.

One question stood out to me that Patrice asked: “How do you define community?”

At the time, I did the best I could to piece together a response. I knew how to describe it, but I did not have the experience to back up my answer as I have always been a bit of a loner. Since joining Writers Room, the answer has come so easily. There are a million ways to define it, but what I’ve realized is that a true community does not mean all members share similarities, but that individuality and diversity are embraced to form a collective space. In this space, we find familiarity through our shared experiences, and although they are different, there’s a sense of belonging, which makes you feel less alone.

Although my experience at Writers Room has been a unique one while interning remotely amid the pandemic, I can feel the warmth of each member through the screen of my device. I can feel Rachel’s compassion as she tends to her son’s bee sting during a Zoom meeting. I can feel Keyssh’s power as she shares her poems. (They give me chills every time.) I can feel Norman’s wisdom as he continues to be one of the best storytellers I have ever heard. I can feel Kiki’s radiant energy as she leads a writing workshop during a Friday hangout. I can feel the authority of each writer as they put their entirety into reading during open mics. I can feel myself growing more robust and more confident in myself as I become further intertwined with something much larger than myself. I had no idea that the decision to go to the interview that day would provide all of this for me, but I could not be more grateful that Writers Room has shown that home is not just a place, it can also be a group of people.

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