What does ‘belonging’ mean to you?

Belonging, for me, is like the strokes of a calligraphy pen, the broad as well as the lean ones. The sense of being at home with something, some place or someone is as much a part of belonging as the relentless pursuit for it.  

For example: Remember your first day at USYD and that anxious tugging at the pit of your stomach as you make your way to your first class on campus. Everything is so new, the place, the people and the culture – such novelty can be quite intimidating. That is, until you start talking to someone and realise that you’re not alone in your fears. Mutual smiles, some small talk and a good lecture is all it takes to throw you the rope of hope. A realisation that slowly, if not just yet, you might actually come to belong here. 

Or, that image could be entirely flipped. When the new faces, and the formal chit-chat only make you feel stranger and even more lost. Life is an unpredictable storyteller, and belonging, I find, is one of its ingenious narrative devices. It drives most of what we do and contextualises the ‘why’ of our choices and actions. 

This year’s anthology is your chance to take a deep dive into what it means to belong. We’re looking forward to your unique interpretations of the expansive and multifaceted phenomena called ‘Belonging’. 

Happy writing! 

Words by Eeshita Potter