What is belonging?


Belonging. A word that we rarely use, even though it nearly describes our every-day life. I define it as feeling of comfort and feeling welcome, like being at home. Being able to express myself freely and not having to hide who I truly am without people judging me.

So I started an opinion poll and asked people what creates belonging in school for them.

Most people said that relationships with teachers, staff members and friends create belonging for them.

“There is a lot of drama going on, but you have your friends who will always stick by your side,” Iylee Milioni, a 6th grader, said.

Also knowing that your friends are doing good and  feel comfortable and safe plays into this, as Reagan Rud, 6th grader mentioned.

Equality among students is an important thing for Junior Valerie Gomez.

“There are so many things that make a student unwelcomed because it seems like staff members are different with different students,” Gomez said. “If one student does something ‘wrong’ and gets punished but another student does the exact same thing and nothing happens, then that just isn’t right.”

Being seen and recognized as a person is what most of the students define as belonging. 

For example having the ability to accept yourself and others for who they are, and not taking differences to heart, as freshman Emily Willkom said.

“I feel a sense of belonging at this school when I’m able to develop friendships despite differences and opinions,” Willkom said.

The supportiveness of the teachers is also greatly appreciated. Giving advice and helping if it still doesn’t work, encouraging words or just asking “How are you?” can make someone’s day. It gives you the feeling that people appreciate you, it makes you feel happy and gives you the feeling like you are at home. A place where you feel comfortable, you can be who you want to be and don’t have to hide yourself.