learned the meaning of community by leaving home.
was fifteen, my family moved halfway across the world – from Illinois to
Singapore – where I enrolled in an American school.
been uprooted from everything familiar – the park where I played football, my favorite
pizza place Lou’s, and my friends. The transience of the expat experience
tempted me to cling to what I left behind or simply shut my eyes until it was
a new school so far from home, my classmates and I found common understanding
through our upheaval. In the cafeteria, we bonded over the simple snacks from
home that we missed. In the school courtyard, we debated what it meant to be an
American abroad. Those little conversations led to lasting friendships that
anchored my formative years in Singapore.
each new chapter of my life, I've sought to create common spaces for simple
interactions. These moments reveal shared values and build community. Whether
investing in my corner of campus or exploring a new neighborhood, I realize it
is the communities we create that define our experiences and give our
will surely send me to unexpected places, but I will create a sense of
community – wherever I go.