Finding your people can be harder than finding your classroom on the first day of school

Every day in the cafeteria, students and staff members can be seen engaging with each other, chatting, and having a fun time. But when a student is consistently alone or isolated, it is cause for concern. Finding a way to fit in is elusive for some high school students. 

“I try to make sure I engage with all the students as much as possible,” said Maurice Butler, an intervention coach. “If I see them, I am always speaking, asking if they are okay. Let them know where my office is if they need anything,”  

Students have different ideas about belonging at Roosevelt, but overall, it is about connecting with their peers. 

“I think that’s the biggest thing is the willingness, if they’re willing to have a conversation,” said Quinn Flowers, a clinical social worker at Roosevelt. 

It takes time to find the people you can blend in with and find things that you have in common. This brings out the best in you as you engage with others. Having a support group is very important to know that you belong. 

“I think that belonging in school means being included and having a group of friends that you can count on,” said Angel Duron, a junior. 

When students have a sense of belonging in their school or community it is because they usually are confident that they feel wanted by others and or part of something. The feeling of knowing you belong comes naturally when your community is accepting. But to start that process is to engage. 

“When you like fit in and like you don’t feel like you’re like left out like in school. You just blend in,” said 11th grader Xiomara Mejia sharing their thoughts on when you like belong in a school.  

Having friends in your group is important to feel like you belong. That is because they would usually treat you positively and care for your well-being. Also, staff members at school can also play an important role in helping students feel like they belong. 

Whether it is staff or student, they can make you feel like you belong in their community, because high school can be tough. So, having someone in your corner can help you feel like you belong in your school. That is what makes a student feel a sense of belonging. 

“I think a way to bridge that is to have more opportunities for students. Like more in addition to classes, more opportunities outside of the classroom because not everyone you know, not everyone might love their geometry class or might love their English class,” math teacher Paul Faircloth said.