Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Yes, I’m close to home. No, I don't drive back every weekend

Growing up in a small town, you’d probably expect that when I graduated high school I would enroll at a college hundreds of miles away from home. I’d pack up and leave behind the place I had spent my entire life.

I could’ve moved hours away to somewhere like New York or West Virginia, as some friends did. Far behind me in the rearview mirror would be my high school, the cornfields and too many gas stations and pizza places to count.

Instead, I chose Miami University, roughly 20 minutes away from home.

And I chose to live here too.

I dread the classic “Where are you from?” icebreaker question teachers ask on the first day of class. While my classmates get to participate in a little competition of “Who is the farthest from home?” I know I’ll always be the loser.

“Trenton, Ohio. It's like, 20 minutes from here,” is consistently my answer. And the responses are always the same.

“Must be nice being so close, you’re probably never homesick.”

“You never have to pay for laundry since you can just take it home.”

“I’m sure you go home every weekend.”

Allow me to shatter your expectations.

Yes, homesickness is not a common issue for me, because I never really left home. I just went from a small town to a slightly larger small town. However, I often forget how close home is because of how different Oxford is from my hometown. Everything is new and exciting to me, even though I’m subconsciously aware that if I need to return home, I can.

This doesn’t mean I never get homesick. I feel it when my parents send photos of my dog to our group chat. I feel it when the trains pass by in Oxford. I feel it when I’m up late playing video games with friends or looking at their photos on my corkboard, counting down the days till we’ll all be in town again.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

I don't take my laundry home every weekend either. Sure, it would save me some money, but not time. It’s much easier to head down to the basement than to drive home every week for a few hours just to clean some clothes.

Plus, I like doing laundry. Doing chores like laundry, cleaning, trash and grocery shopping makes me feel like a responsible adult.

I don’t go home every weekend. When I do, it's to attend an event, like a friend’s birthday party, or a show with my mom at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati. She bought 2023-2024 season tickets for my 18th birthday and likes to joke she got them so I would be “forced to come home.”

As though she thought I would leave home and never come back. As if I was just waiting for the moment I could leave the safety and comfort of my loving parents.

I make sure each trip home has a reason. If I come home every weekend, then what's the point of paying for a dorm room? I could commute like my hometown friends who go to Miami do and save a decent amount of money while being able to shower without shoes and fall asleep in peace and quiet.

My original plan was to commute. But surprisingly, my mom encouraged me to stay on campus. She wanted me to experience college to the fullest.

I am very grateful she did. I appreciate that she allowed her wish for me to live and grow to overcome the motherly anxiety that made her uneasy at the thought of me leaving home.

I know I’m in no place to complain, considering there are students here who can’t even leave during the shorter breaks. I know how silly I sound complaining about how people expect me to never spend my weekends up here.

But I do find it a little crazy, and slightly annoying, that people don’t expect me to stay in town. I want the college experience and I won’t get it if I’m driving home every weekend. I want to take advantage of my time here before my life begins.

Taylor Powers is a first-year double majoring in journalism as well as media and communication from Trenton, Ohio. This is her first year with The Student, where she is a multi-section contributor.