Clara has written an essay on the meaning of ‘home’ as part of her CPE exam preparation.

When asked about what it is they call ‘home’, most people would probably name the place they currently live in – the house, flat or room they occupy. Regardless of the circumstances they are facing beyond their own four walls, this place is a fixed point. It is at home that they start and end their daily routine, it is where they fulfill their most basic needs and where they retire to whenever they want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Being able to call such a place our own is a privilege and – whether we like it or not – once we’ve settled in, our home will soon have turned into a mirror of our personality.

However, having said that, having ‘a home’ does not necessarily provide the joy of ‘feeling home’ that humans seem to naturally long for. Not only can staying at home lead to boredom and loneliness, but, more importantly, ‘a home’, meaning the place we live in, is not what makes ‘home’ after all. We can own a cosy flat and still feel homesick or homeless.

Home is where the heart is! As a case in point, imagine someone telling you they’re ‘going home’ for Christmas. What they mean is not that they’re spending the holidays moping around in their flat. Home, as in this case, is where we feel the most loved, where we are surrounded by family, friends and all the places we’ve known like the back of our hand since we were a child.

In a broader sense, home is wherever we feel we truly belong to. Anyway, it is so much more than just ‘a home’.