Trust me, I know what you’re thinking—why would anyone want to go to college so close to home? Like every other teenager wanting to escape the rules of their parent’s, I was planning a new, exciting life after high school. I wanted college to be a time where I got to experience a whole new atmosphere and people. I wanted to leave. However, that all changed when I decided to go to Syracuse University.

I love the school. I love the atmosphere. I love my major. However, I had one problem: my future school was only a mere 30 minutes away. Syracuse was a part of my childhood. I was here when the Destiny Mall was called the Carousel Mall. I came up for a glam makeover at Libby Lu for a friend’s eight birthday party. I grew up next to this city. Syracuse was all too familiar to me. Therefore, having to attend a school so close to home put a sour taste in my mouth, until I realized the sweet advantages that laid ahead.

Honestly, during the first few days at Syracuse I was expecting my mom and dad to lurk in the corners of my school, watching my every move. I thought they would call multiple times a day, afraid to let me go.

But, boy was I wrong. I was surprised how the short distance to home had no effect on my life on campus. I got to make friends, stay out late, or go to class in a totally new environment, all by myself. I was actually happy I was going to school close to home. This realization changed my whole perspective.

To those hours or even 2,500 miles away from home, I am sorry. As you complain of how a pack of ten water bottles cost ten dollars, I have my caring mother throwing cases of water at me. When I am in need of more food or more school supplies, my parents are there for me. Thinking of going home for break? Stressed looking up train, airplane, or bus tickets for your journey back home? Watching my friends hustle to book tickets during the horrible winter season helped me understand how blessed I was to wake up, call my parents, and be on my way home in a flash. Not only is it amazing when my parents are there to help me with food or supplies, but I also have amazing opportunities to see my family when I miss them. That does not have to mean going home and spending every second with them. I get to see them for lunch or go out on a quick shopping trip and just spend some quality time with my family. I can even go home to play with my silly dog. Now how could that get any better?

So when you are thinking about moving away and choosing a college, just know that living close to home does not have to be a burden. It can create opportunities for you to flash some quick facts about the city to show off to your new friends or go home quickly for family events. Once a doubter, I urge you to think about the benefits of living near home, so maybe you can live the best of both worlds like me.