More Than a House | Teen Ink

More Than a House

February 27, 2019
By jreish BRONZE, Park Rapids, Minnesota
jreish BRONZE, Park Rapids, Minnesota
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

After a long day or an exhausting week, the only place I want to go is home. When I say that, people automatically assume that I am talking about my house. That does not always have to be the case because in my opinion a house is much different from a home.

Home is defined as, “The place where one lives permanently.” While this is technically true, it is far from the whole story. A home is a place that is filled with memories that will help shape the person that you will become. A house can be just a place that you are staying, all it provides is the basic human need of shelter. A home is so much more than that.. An emotional component is present in a home that is not present in just a house.

I have experience with this topic. I recently moved from the house I had lived in for the last fifteen years. My old house is not the only house I ever lived in. However, I lived there from the age of two to seventeen, so it is essentially the only house that I have ever known. That makes it feel like home to me more than anything ever has.

While our new house is definitely an upgrade, as it is both bigger and newer as well as being on a lake, I still find myself missing my old house. No matter how nice the one I am living in right now is, it is missing several key components. It doesn't have the doorframe with a decade and a half of marks, showing my growth. It doesn’t have the patch on the wall that is a slightly different shade of white where it had to be painted over because I went through an artistic phase. It doesn't have the trees in the backyard that served as touchdown markers for thousands of backyard football games. Essentially, it has none of the memories that made me into the person that I am today.

These essential parts of my old house are no longer present. However, they are still with me. Even though you can’t pack a memory up into a box like I did with my books, or load it onto a moving truck like a piece of furniture it still travels with me. It is carried inside and soon my new house will have its own memories that fill its walls.

All of these memories serve as proof to me that a home is more than where you live permanently. It is more about a place that shapes you. It is somewhere that you can find peace and feel safe. My old house was not a home because I slept there every night. It was a home because of the ceiling fan that had a chip out of it because the christmas tree fell down and hit it. It was a home because of that tree that was just outside the window by my desk that I would count the branches on when homework was stressing me out.

Home does not necessarily have to be a house. You could have five different homes. I consider the town of Park Rapids, as well as the state of Minnesota to be my home just as much as my house. The community of Park Rapids is a huge part of who I am. Its special characteristics, such as the extra wide main street or extravagant fireworks, can’t be found anywhere else. This small town atmosphere has helped me feel welcome and taught me to see the positive in everyone. If I had not grown up here, I would be a completely different person. I could have grown up in the private school system surrounded by completely different people and never learned about working hard or committing myself to a cause that I care about.


The thing about home is there is no set place that has to be home forever. Home is not a one time use. I discovered this as I got more used to my new house. It may not have the trails where I first learned to drive or the driveway where my Dad taught me how to shoot a basketball but it will have other things. It began to feel like home more and more, and I came to the realization that this place will become filled with just as many memories as my old house. A quote from The Office, my favorite tv show of all time, said it best,“No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have the miraculous gift of making that place home.”

The author's comments:

Having recently moved, Home came to me as an idea when I was told to write a definition essay. It contains a lot of personal memories that are very special to me.

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