Me with friends and family.

Finding Your Community

Have you ever walked into a room full of people and felt utterly alone? The extent of your conversations with people is “hi, how are you? I’m good,” and maybe some kind of surface-level talk but you leave these conversations feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing. As Yehuda Berg said:

“A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It’s about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role.” 

In the past, I had a lot of friends just by proximity. In my need to fill the void that being lonely left, I tried to meet as many people as possible, but the problem wasn’t in how many people I knew, it was in how many people I truly let into my life. You can have hundreds of followers on Instagram and a seemingly huge group of friends, but unless you have a community, you’ll find yourself feeling empty and alone. 

Community isn’t people showing up when things are going great to come along for the ride. Community is when a friend comes and brings you soup when you’re feeling sick, or sends you encouraging texts when they know you’re having a stressful day. Community isn’t some huge daunting task, it’s a collection of simple, smaller tasks. It’s about knowing others and allowing yourself to be known. Being in a community isn’t about how many people you know. It’s about investing somewhere, not everywhere. 

 

 

I struggled a lot in high school trying to find a community. I spent so much time combating my own feelings of loneliness and isolation, that I was blind to the fact that I had no real “group.” It wasn’t until I got involved at my local church that I realized being in community with friends looks like. These six wonderful ladies above helped me through some of the lowest moments in my life by being present and sending me encouragement. This was the first community I had ever allowed myself to be vulnerable with and even though a lot of us went our separate ways after high school, these people taught me what true community looks like. 

 

While community can often be found in a group of people, it can also be found in your relationships with individual people. It could be one person, with whom you trust to share and grow together. For me, when I came to Baylor University (sic ‘em) I felt disheveled. I was surrounded by people I didn’t know and felt forced to look for a new community. It wasn’t until one of my friends (now my best friend), said yes to dinner that I started finding someone I could go through this new phase of life with. She introduced me to a new church I could get plugged in to and ironically enough, she also introduced me to Her Campus. It was through this sweet friendship that my passion for writing was reinvigorated and I started feeling truly seen and known at Baylor University. 

 

Community also doesn’t necessarily mean the friendships you’ve forged around it. Community can also be found in the family you were born with. Even with our respective age gaps and not so friendly quarreling, I’ve found that my sisters are people I have constantly counted on no matter what. I could call them on days where I didn’t know how to handle friend troubles or after a stressful day, whether it’s to actually get their advice or complain about the day I couldn’t tell you. 

Whether it’s a group of friends from your dorm, church, or your family, community can be found anywhere. It’s a matter of who you invest your time in and who invests their time in you. You can’t be friends with everyone or you’ll quickly find that you don’t have any true relationships. So go out and find your people, the friends who invest time into you, and the people who will be there when you’re not at your greatest. Go out and find the people that see you for who you are.