Home: What is it Exactly?
You’ve just moved back to college (or maybe, it’s even your first time). You’ve unpacked your boxes, you’ve bought your books and you’ve gone to your first classes. You meet up with old friends, you make new friends and everything just feels right. You’re back and it’s good. But is it home?
From the time that I was child, the question of where home was has been very difficult for me to answer. Home during childhood felt like it should be the house you live in with your parents. Having been moved from the place that I considered home from a young age and without the tangible things that I considered to be part of being at home, I never really grasped a concept of home. Home was just a place I slept at night. It never occurred to me that there would be something odd about it, until one of my friends in high school pointed out that I even called hotels home.
“You can’t call that home. Home is the place you grew up in, with your family.”
But what if you didn’t grow up in just one place? What if you didn’t have a family? Do you just not have a home then?
When I first went to university, my feelings about home adapted. Suddenly there was the realization that the UK, where I had lived for 14 years, was my home. My real home. Home was the placed where the people you loved the most were. This seemed a great definition of home, since my family and boyfriend were all in the same place. It was across the Atlantic, but at least now I knew what home was. Yet, when eventually the relationships I had before university ended, even that definition become destabilized. I was left with a freedom that I didn’t have before. I didn’t have to go home every single holiday. But was the UK my home anymore?
The conclusion I’ve made now is that home is the place you are familiar and comfortable with/where you want to be the most. For whatever reason it is that makes you want to be there, if you want to be there more than anywhere else in the world, that’s home. Home for me right now is Sweden, the place that I grew up in during my holidays. I’ve longed to bask in the sun, pick fresh berries and eat real Swedish food. All of this is despite the fact that I’d be in the middle of nowhere when I got there, and autumn would come when it was still summer in other places. But, home will be the UK soon again when I hear about the adventures my friends are getting into. And then, home will be Tufts, where many of my friends are right now.
As college students, we are in a state of flux. We live in our university housing for a year, or if we are lucky, the same off-campus house for two years. We all know that we will move on to another city, state or even country after graduation. Tufts is only a temporary home.
So what is your home? The place you grew up in, the place your parents may have moved to after you went to college or are you thinking of a future home, where you will live once you land a job? I’d love to hear your opinions about home.
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