You’ve Got To Be Able To Adapt

“It really depends on all the connections you build because belonging’s something you have to work at.”

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Transcript for You’ve Got To Be Able To Adapt

‘Belonging’ is a very amorphous term because it all depends on how you feel about a situation, like you personally.  When it comes to asking, you know, ‘Do I belong here?’ you’re more asking yourself, ‘Have I associated with people?  Have I spoken to them, interacted with them, gotten to know them, listened to them?’  At the end of the day if you can say, ‘Well yeah, I’ve integrated this person and talking them into my life,’ then yeah, I can say, ‘Yeah, I feel like I belong.’

Life tends to be transitive, especially at a university.  I’m going to study, do my thing, graduate, and then I’m going to go somewhere else.  So, maybe belonging may not be top priority.  I’m only speaking for myself right now.  I know, because a lot of people really want to belong to the university, they want to be able to come back, continue to be involved in it.  But that really depends on all the connections you build, because belonging’s something you have to work at.  Because if you don’t belong with a certain group, they’re not going to go out of their way to make you belong.  You have to go say, ‘Ok, I’m done with them.’  You got to be able to adapt and be willing to let things go.  I mean, if one thing’s not working, there’s a different group somewhere.

If you want to be someone who has experienced a lot of different things, and because of that is able to relate on a more personal with the other people in your life—that’s why broadening your horizons is so valuable to me.  Because it allows me to like, empathize with people instead of just sympathizing.  I can get out there, I can experience something for myself, and then I can see where people are coming from.  Sympathy’s more like—like an intellectual understanding.  Like, ‘Oh, that’s—that’s nice you have this problem.  I understand your problem, but I don’t really feel it personally.’  Whereas empathy, you feel how the person feels.  Like, someone’s having a problem and you, like, can internalize it, know exactly how they’re feeling about the problem, and then kind of relate to that in order to figure out how to deal with it.

  • Carl

    I absolutely love how the speaker turned the idea of belonging from an individual experience to a communal experience. When one worries about belonging, he or she normally focuses on how they as an individual is perceived by others and how they can fit, but the speaker changes “belonging” to how the person trying to belong affects others and concerns themselves with the other.