Transitioning Young-Adult Perspectives of Home: A Physical Place and A Mental Space?

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Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


There are many different perspectives of what a “home” means, especially at a pivotal time in a person’s life such as college. Some say that a home is where your family is, and others say you must make a home wherever you are. For young-adults today, that perspective has a multitude of factors distinct to their understanding of the world, which disrupts the conventional definition of the term. Previous research has studied the understanding of home-making, and even why young adults move back home. I use 8 in-depth interviews to gain information on what students transitioning into adulthood consider “home” to be, where they believe that exists, and why this perspective is new. These interviews are to ground the way one talks about home in context to better understand their modern definition of home as a social construct or physical space. The students I worked with are attending college as undergraduates during their final months, or had recently graduated after their interview with me. They range from those who live within the city of the college, to students from around the country who have moved onto campus for college, to students who have traveled abroad. The majority of my findings show that the idea of having one’s own space, accessibility, and comfortability are major factors in what a home means to young adults. The concept of home for young-adults during this time period is a very unique perspective that holds more than the idea of one physical space as “home.” This interdisciplinary research will be used to develop an ethnographic piece on the the physical and psychological implications of these students’ understanding of “home” during a life transition.


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