Throughout my life, I have belonged to many different groups. These have included my family group, as a member of a dancing school, as a student during my academic education, and as a member of a workplace. Within these groups I have held different roles as a member of a team. At school, I was a Community Service Leader, and member of the Year 12 vocal group. In my workplace I co-ordinate the Year 9 English team and manage the Debating program. These groups are made up of a variety of people. I have belonged to some groups through obligation, and others by choice. Over time, my personal experience of belonging has changed constantly. I have moved away from some areas I used to belong, for example, I am no longer a school student. Other places where I belong have been a constant feature of my life, such as my place within my family. In most cases, I have been able to join groups and feel like I belong without any trouble. I try to listen and show kindness to others, so perhaps that is why I have been able to get along with others and avoid conflict in group situations. This hasn't always been the case. On some occasions I have felt like an outcast, like I don't belong. While these experiences have been hurtful, they also have taught me an important lesson about life; that people are not always welcoming and sometimes people deliberately exclude others from a group. The emotional pain of rejection has only led to a deeper understanding and appreciation of how important it is to belong.
Within my family I feel my greatest sense of belonging. Even though my two sisters and I fought like crazy when we were growing up, they are two of the closest people in the world to me. Even now with my youngest sister living overseas, we still make a fuss of each other on our birthday and other special days, sending cards in the post hoping they arrive in time for the big day. For my dad's birthday on Sunday we will Skype with my youngest sister during our family dinner so that she is a part of dad's day.