Communities are an essential part of living. They bring people together and establish a common ground. Too often people are trying desperately to become themselves by taking the parts of others. Communities limit those distractions. They remind people what it is to be united by individual thoughts and beliefs. A community groups like-minded people and gives light to each of their differences.
As a child, I was never a part of many communities. I wasn’t on the soccer team, I didn’t have dance after school. I’d only really been a student and a daughter, not much more. As I grew, I found myself searching for a sense of community. I went on to pursue a study of writing and soon became very close to the literary community. It was a different world, being surrounded by people who shared the same sole purpose as I did. I wanted to write and I wanted to read, and everyone around me wanted the same. I developed many friends with similar interests, and unlike ever before, I felt myself belonging somewhere other than where I was required to belong.
When I was invited to join the Elan staff, I was eager to experience the same sense of community I had recently learned about. What I got instead was life changing. The lessons I learned about communication and unity educated me on levels far beyond the walls of the classroom. Each of us on the staff were equally as passionate and excited to commit to something bigger than ourselves and we worked together to put on the greatest events, and create the best book we possibly could. The community we developed as a staff, taught us each to be our own leaders, listeners, and achievers.
Each of the communities I have been involved me have helped me grow and mature and as I move forward I hope to not only join other communities and learn from them, but to create my own. Uniting people by their similar interests and impacting them in such a way that they grow and mold into new and better people, ready to open themselves up to the world.
-Briana Lopez, Senior Editor-in-Chief