Timothy Wang, a second-year architecture student, has won one
of four educational scholarships from the Enterprise Community Partners’ “What
Does Home Mean to You?” A Multimedia Contest for Youth. His 600 word-essay was
the first assignment in Professor Carla Keyvanian’s Architecture History class
this past fall. Wang wrote about the three places that were home to him: the
house in Huntsville where he grew up; Beijing where some of his family lives; and
Auburn, which he now considers home. Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit
organization that provides expertise for affordable housing and sustainable
communities, sponsored this competition in celebration of its 30th anniversary.
They sought inspiring and creative answers to the question “What Does Home Mean
to You?” from young voices in communities across the country.
Tim Wang’s essay:
What Does Home Mean to You?
Home is where you love and are
loved. It is where you feel secure and
can be yourself. Home is when a simple
greeting from a friend brings pleasant memories, when you can take walks in the
night and watch the stars without feeling awkward, when people miss you if you
skip a meal. Home is not only where, but
also when and who. Home is family. Family are people any age that look forward
to your returning home. They hate it
when you are miserable and try their best to brighten up your day. When it is a good day, they rejoice with
you. When tragedy strikes, they mourn
with you. When you need to talk, they
are there; not only to listen, but to feel with you and do their best to
Home is a place where family and
memories intertwine. Home is Huntsville,
where my parents always look forward to my trips home and prepare my favorite
foods. They take time from their busy
schedules to take a walk in the night with me, play a board game, or just
simply talk. It is where memories of my
childhood are stored: my first day of school, first car, first date, first
dance. Huntsville is where my
foundations were formed, the launching pad of my life.
Home is also Beijing where my
aunt and uncle reside. They look forward
to my short rare visits and try to cram as much of everything as they can so I
can experience not only their love, but their culture. Beginning with my first grade year, I have
been back to Beijing every stage of my life from childhood to young adulthood.
Each time I return, the previous memories remain but I find that the city has
advanced and aged along with my aunt and uncle.
As I mature and grow, I discover a parallel between the ongoing stages
of my life and the progression of the city and my family.
And now I have yet another home
in Auburn, where I go to college. Auburn
is where I have made lasting friends of my own choice; and where I am pointing
my life in a lifelong direction. Auburn
is where I go to the grocery store by myself, socially independent and
free. Being home in Auburn is where my
friends and I can skip sleeping just to watch shooting stars in the middle of
nowhere. We can go for what feels like
forever and imagine the future while creating new memories. Auburn is where I make beliefs my own and not
just take the ones presented before me.
It is where I am figuring out that there is a bigger picture to life
than just an education and a job.
Perhaps, it may be where I discover the purpose and meaning of my
Home is many places, each
connected to different stages and emotions of my life. Home is Huntsville, Beijing, and Auburn. Home is where I love and am loved. It is a place and people I can always return
to, where peace and security envelop me and it feels like I could stay there
forever. Home is more than a place. It
is family and memories and a peace.