I did not fully understand the concept of "community" until I served a year of volunteer service through the Mercy Volunteer Corps. The application process kept mentioning the word "community" and I just kind of shrugged. assuming they meant "roommates". But here's the thing: It is very different.
Community really means building strong relationships through caring, loving interactions and through sharing experiences together. It is intentionally carving out time for people who have similiar interests and values as you do.
Examples? Well, the most obvious for me goes back to that year of service. I was set to live with three total strangers and to live "in community". What did this mean? It meant we intentionally ate our meals together, had spirituality nights, went to Church together, and shared our experiences with one another. It didn't mean the four of us were together every second of every day, but it did mean we made a point to make our time together meaningful.
You don't have to just "build community" with the people that you live with, though. At my previous job, I truly felt like we were a community. We intentionally ate lunch together every day and supported one another. At my new job, I can sense that my volunteer committees are a community.
Having a community and truly taking part in it is important to learning about yourself and human interaction.