Community, to me, means a lot of things. To quote a dictionary, it simply is a group that shares similar characteristics. The communities that I am part of include the MQ Business Society, Accounting Students Association, my friends pursuing Bachelor of Professional Accounting, Indians in Macquarie, and Macquarie University (of course!) besides many others.
But does community mean something more than a group of similar people? Well, here is what I think.
It provides a sense of belongingness
It is a human need to be part of a community. Back in my country, it was easy to feel like a part of a community simply because it was my country. However, many students, like me, who study abroad may find it difficult to blend into the new communities of a foreign country.
However, university provides a great platform to make things easy. I am part of several societies and teams that gives me a sense of belongingness at Macquarie, even during a phase of social isolation.
Encourages social engagement
Even though I would identify as someone who is more of an introvert, I feel the need to socialise. A community provides me with a medium to do so. I meet people who are doing things like what I am. It is also easier to strike up a conversation in those cases (I am bad at doing that :P).
A catalyst for making connections
Connections, both social and professional, are immensely important. It is not only about what you know but also about who you know, in many circumstances. Having acquaintances in the same career field or the same nationality can help you out a lot not only in terms of professional support but also emotional and social support.