Our young residents reflect on the home they’re growing up in.




I’m a social guy. I love people. I love interacting with kids, adults, animals—most anybody really. If you’ve met me, you know this is true! What you might not know is that I really like it when I can get some time alone.

Alone time is very important. It helps my mind and my body, especially when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. Yeah, I’m a twelve-year-old kid but I get stressed out from time to time. There’s school, and karate, and baseball try-outs, and hip hop moves to master. Then there’s my little sister bugging me, and some chores, and sometimes other family stuff going on and I just need to catch my breath. That can be a lot for a kid like me. Or any kid.

When I feel anxious, sad, or out-of-sorts, I like to take time away from everyone to read a book, chill out and listen to music (a sweet mix of R&B and hip hop), or just think about what’s been going on. I sometimes do this inside, but I prefer being outside. Out there, I can lay on the grass in my backyard, jump on my BMX and hit the jump park for a quick solo session, or take a walk in the forest (with my family). I love being in the forest and at the river, lake and ocean. I’m not picky—just give me some water! These places are peaceful and beautiful, plus they are pretty great natural playgrounds that quickly help me forget whatever was on my mind.

Being in a quiet, peaceful environment helps me keep calm and think more clearly. I don’t even have to be completely alone to be alone, if you know what I mean. Diving is a great way to explain it. I scuba dive with my dad, but I spend a lot more time exploring underwater alone with my favourite mask, and sometimes snorkel. I slip on my mask, wade in, and down I go. It’s so pretty under water—any type of water—and relaxing. Plus, you can barely hear anything even when you’re just below the surface. Once you start diving deeper and deeper, it’s really quiet. I do this all summer long when my family hits our favourite spots. Even though I’m not the best swimmer, it’s really hard to stay out of the water. My mom says that I’m part fish! Wouldn’t that be cool?

There are two ways to look at solitude. There’s a good one and a bad one. The good one helps you relieve stress and anxiety. The bad one—when you’re completely isolated—can leave you feeling unhappy and completely alone. I’ve even heard that some people start seeing and hearing things.

That’s why you need to get out every once in a while and be with other people—like me!