Home away from home

Lindsay Barash, Fall 2014 J1 Student

Dictionary.com defines home as the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered. People feel at home in multiple different places. Wether it’s your friends house, sports facility, your grandparents house, or any other place, they all have one thing in common: feeling comforted, loved and protected. Grandparents House Freshman Bella Umentum said her grandparents home feels very similar to where her home is now. “My grandma’s house makes me feel most at home,”Umentum said. “[The house] is warm and lit up with candles. When I step foot inside, I instantly have the feeling of love and family”. Ninety-five percent of 20 teens surveyed agree food is comforting to oneself. “Whenever I go to my grandma’s, she always has food made that smells amazing,” junior Garrhett Hurst said. “The taste is better than the smell — it’s so good.” Freshman Tali Amjadi said she doesn’t remember much from her childhood but wishes she did. “There’s been so many memories at my grandma’s from my childhood,” said Umentum. “I think that’s why I love it so much.” The average amount of days that teenagers see their grandparents is 123 days in a year according to a 20 person survey. Hurst said he goes to his grandma’s house 6 times a year. “I used to go to my grandma’s house frequently before she got cancer,” Umentum said. “Now I’m not allowed to see her because she’s too sick, [and is] just now going through her second round of chemotherapy.” Even though Umentum isn’t allowed to go to her grandma’s house, it’s not holding her back from keeping the house a special place in her heart she said. “My Grammy’s house is my childhood,” Umentum said. “Even though I can’t go there anymore, it is, and always will be my second home.” Hurst said he plays cards with his family when he goes to his grandma’s house, but Umentum said she and her family celebrate Christmas there, all year round. “[My grandma] just loves Christmas,”Umentum said. “Everything is decorated all year round, and [Christmas is] something she’s passionate about. When you think of Christmas, you think of love, which is another reason why I love my grandma’s house.” Friend’s House Freshman Molly Harrigan said a friend is someone who is always there for you no matter what. They are caring, loving and as close to blood relation as possible. “My best friend is Laurel Brown,” junior Deni Burns said. “Laurel’s house most definitely, without a doubt, is my second home.” Burns said Brown lives only three minutes away, which is very helpful at most times. “I go to her house every day after school,” Burns said. “The fact that she lives so close is comforting. I know that if I’m ever in need of a place to stay quickly, I can get there safe.” Burns also said its not just Laurel that makes the Brown house so comforting. It’s the whole Brown family. “Her whole family is always welcoming. I know if Laurel isn’t home, I’d still feel welcomed into their home,” Burns said. “It wouldn’t be awkward for me or their family that I was there without their daughter. The whole Brown family is always smiling and happy, and I know the door is always open, which is a major reason why it’s my second home.” Harrigan said her best friend Ashley Allen’s home is practically hers. She said she knows the garage code, and Allen’s mom gave her a key to the front door. “My parents are divorced,”Harrigan said. “ Both of my parents remarried, so I already have two homes from that. However, I have three. My best friend’s house is my third. I know the door is always open because they gave me a key.” Harrigan said Allen’s mom treats her like her own child. “Mrs. Allen is my third mom,” Harrigan said. “She punishes me when I do something wrong, is always there for me when I need advice, cooks me delicious food whenever I show up even without telling her I’m going to and loves me as if I was her own daughter.” Harrigan said she knows the Allens will be there for her through both the good and the bad, and that’s what family does, which is why the Allens house is her third home. “The Brown family is always willing to help me,” Burns said. “That is why it is one of my homes.” Sports Facilities Freshman Nicki Ogden said sports facilities are very important to athletic and growing teenagers. “Sports are one thing teens can take their pain and anger out on,” said Ogden. “Athletic teenagers spend the majority of their time practicing whichever sport they most enjoy. I spend the majority of my time at the Overland Park Soccer Complex.” Freshman Ashlyn Frickey said she also feels at home at her team’s soccer facility in Merriam, Kansas. “All my favorite people are at the facility,”Frickey said. “I’ve got my teammates and my coaches. Then there’s my friends that play on different teams within my club.” The soccer facility for the Kansas City Legends soccer club is about 30 minutes away Frickey said. “I go to Merriam every day. I don’t just practice soccer when I’m there,” Frickey said. “I also work there. I have a job reffing, coaching a young team of Legends players and working concessions. I’m there normally right after school because of my brother’s practices, so I even do my homework there.” Ogden said the people at their facility are a big part as to why it feels like home. “At the beginning of the season, I didn’t know my team that well,” Ogden said. “Now since it’s towards the middle to the end of the season, I know my team much better and they’re basically my second family. I think that’s a reason why the complex is my second home. It’s where my other family is, so it’s where I enjoy being too.” Frickey said the facility isn’t just her second home, it’s her whole family’s, which includes her actual family, her team, her coaches and other soccer players at the facility. “Everyone is playing soccer, learning soccer and coaching soccer,” Frickey said. “It’s what I do — live and breathe soccer.”