Student Voice


November 29, 2022


Light Snow


Students evaluate what home means

November 14, 2013

As you probably have noticed from the signs around the University Center, Phillip Phillips is coming to UW-River Falls on Friday, which is causing a very excited buzz around campus.

Walking around, every other conversation I hear is, “Hey, are you going to Phillip Phillips on Friday?” and “What time should we get in line?”

From falling in love with him when his career started off in “American Idol” and following him ever since, the majority of us will be standing in line for hours to hear him sing his most popular song, “Home.” That being my high school senior song, you will no doubt hear me singing along with my fellow Phillips fans.

I think that the reason why the song “Home” is so popular, beside his soothing voice and guitar playing, is that it strikes a chord in all of us, especially as college students. I mean, what is home to us? Is our parent’s house home, or is it now UWRF? Is a person home or do you find yourself at home in a certain memory? Asking those around me what home means to them, I received a variety of answers: “Home is where I feel loved,” a girl said, smiling at a fond memory. “Home is my friends,” said another.

Others said that home is where they feel safe and home is where they can be themselves. “I have two homes now,” a freshman said, referring to the feeling of familiarity and love she has received since attending UWRF.

When we think of home, the first thing that usually pops into our minds is the place we grew up in, but if we really think about it, its so much more. When I asked my father the same question, he gave me the answer I was looking for: “[Home is] a place of comfort, safety, familiarity, memories, a meeting place for family and a refuge from the pressures of everyday life.”

From these answers I think that we can all agree that home is not just a place, and home changes with who we are. I remember it was only a few weeks into the school year when I accidently called this place my home. Walking back to my dorm room from the University Center, I said something along the lines of “When we get home I actually have to do some homework.” At that moment I stopped, wondering if this place really was my home or not.

Throughout our lives we search for a place that we can call home and find our homes several times throughout our lives and in a variety of places. We can find home in a place in which we find familiarity, a person who makes us feel loved, a quiet moment that gives us peace and we even find home in ourselves when we become content in our lives.

So when we hear Phillips’s song “Home” this Friday, on the radio or on Pandora we can allow ourselves to think of our true home. Know that no matter how far we wander off into the world and who we end up becoming after college, that there will always be a place there waiting for us, a place we can call home.

Natalie Howell is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the <em>Student Voice</em> during the 2016-2017 academic year.