Angel Ling: A True Sense of Belonging
A True Sense of Belonging
As part of the Sophia Blackmore Leadership Programme, Angel Ling from Secondary 4F shared about what it means to have a true sense of belonging to Fairfield. This subject is of utmost importance to Angel as she believes that one's sense of belonging to the school eventually leads to many long lasting friendships. (This speech was delivered in January 2021 during morning assembly.)
Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, teachers and fellow Fairsians. I’m Angel Ling from Secondary 4F. Today, I will be sharing about the importance of one’s sense of belonging.
Firstly, let me define what it means to have a sense of belonging. It is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than ourselves. Why is this sense of belonging important? We are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to be loved and to belong to a community. Personally, I feel that a sense of belonging is just as necessary as food and shelter. Having a sense of belonging means that there will be a community where we can find strength and support, especially during challenging times.
Have you ever wondered why seniors still come back to Fairfield Secondary to help out their previous CCA group(s) even after they have graduated, or why they volunteer their time and services every year for Secondary 1 Orientation even though they might be in the midst of their studies or work? It all boils down to that sense of belonging to Fairfield Secondary, the very place where they forged wonderful memories and lasting friendships.
Do you feel connected to the school? Maya Angelou, a famous poet once said, “I long, as every human being does, to be at home wherever I find myself.” A home is somewhere comfortable, a place that you can truly be yourself. It is neither about becoming who you need to be in order to fit in nor about a physical place you live in. Ultimately, a home is where you feel connected to the community.
There are about 200 days of school each year. Can you imagine being in a place where you do not feel a sense of belonging for that number of days?
Hence, let’s all do our part to reach out and connect with someone so we can all make Fairfield Secondary our home.
So how do we reach out and connect with others in school?
Brené Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection, once said, “Before we are able to reach out to connect with someone, we must first believe that we are worthy of belonging to a community.” Establishing this sense of belonging gives us the courage to reach out to others without worrying about what people might think of us. Hence, be bold, dare to care and show that you care.
Secondly, acknowledge each other's presence and contributions. This allows others to feel welcomed and loved. For example, acknowledge one's hard work and encourage them for trying their best and for not giving up when times are tough. Thank your friends for the things they have done for you, from offering you a piece of tissue when you need it to helping you with your school work. Let your friends know that you appreciate them for who they are, because everyone is unique in their own way. Also, wave at them when you see them, and check in with your friends when they don't feel well. Though these may seem like simple gestures, you never know how much it may mean to them. These actions not only make others feel loved, but also fosters a sense of belonging in them as they feel welcomed, valued and cared for.
To sum up, it is important for us to have a sense of belonging as it helps us to find and strengthen our identity and purpose. It provides us with the supportive environment that we deserve. I hope we can all feel that Fairfield is truly our home.