Mustangs from DFW

Like anything else, it’s always helpful to hear straight from someone who has first-hand experience. Hear why some of our SMU Mustangs from the Dallas area decided to #Stay4SMU and why they’re glad they did.

Mehdi Hami
SMU Mustang from Garland
Majors: Biology and Political Science
I never truly experienced Dallas when I grew up in the suburbs, so going to SMU was a chance to not only go to a great school, but also experience a city that I had never fully taken advantage of. 

Laura Spitler
SMU Mustang from Southlake
Major: Marketing
Minors: Sociology and Advertising
I have younger siblings, so I loved being close enough that I could go home to celebrate their birthdays and when I got the flu my mom could come care for me.

The distance is what you make it! When freshman year started I told my mom she couldn't come see me (and I wasn't going home) for at least the first month. I wanted to have the same experience out-of-state students were having adjusting to college. We eventually found balance and I liked being able to have lunch with my mom once a month or so. 

I hosted a big Christmas party at my parent’s home for my SMU friends. Everyone loved the break from dining hall food, playing with my dog, and being off campus in a real home.

I got plugged in on campus (and lived on campus), so I had my own, busy life at SMU. It made the 45 minute drive home seem hours away. And my family also knew not to drop in unexpectedly. 

I knew I wanted to study business, and Dallas is experiencing such growth right now - why would I go to school hours away where it would be hard to find jobs and internships? Dallas is an amazing resource - just because it's in my backyard didn’t mean I should pass it up!

Liz Dubret
SMU Mustang from Dallas
Major: Electrical Engineering
Even though I am from the area, SMU gave me so many opportunities that I never went home and never felt like I was in the same place I had grown up. SMU gave us access to things in and around Dallas that I never would have taken advantage of in high school. Dallas is the same city, but as an SMU student, you experience it completely differently. The places I went in college helped me make new memories with new friends - it made Dallas a completely different city!  

Kelsey Buttrell
SMU Mustang from Lewisville
Majors: Applied Physiology and Sport Management and Communication Studies
Originally, I wanted to go very far from home, but after looking at a bunch of schools SMU had everything I was looking for. It is a Division 1 University with really small class sizes and is absolutely stunning. Being from Lewisville, Texas, I got a whole new experience, because even though I might have grown up close to Dallas, I did not experience it like I did as an SMU student.

It was so nice being close to home because I could change out clothes really easily depending on the weather. For quick holidays like Easter, I appreciated taking a quick drive home versus getting on a flight. Also, my mom would come have lunch with me, take me to a good place I’d been craving and pay for my meal! 

SMU has people from all over the United States, so the people you encounter will create a new experience for you. 

Tammy Winter
SMU Mustang from Garland
Majors: Economics, Business Management, Pre-Law
For me, coming to SMU was more than just about being at SMU, it was about being in Dallas, which has pretty much everything you could want in a city. While my family lives only 25 minutes away, I've gotten to experience Dallas really fully for the first time alongside the rest of my graduating class.

My favorite parts of Dallas:

Sports! I love all of our major teams, the Cowboys, the Mavs, the Stars, Rangers, and FC Dallas. Being at SMU gives me access to those games (and sometimes at a discount, which I love).

Dining: there's really something for everyone, no matter what your individual palate is. Being at SMU I've tried everything from soufflés to sushi and everything in between. And the nice thing about living in a city that has as many restaurants as Dallas does, is that the prices are great. Finding a great meal under $20 isn't an anomaly. 

Transportation and home visits: This is a big one because one of the costs of going to college that doesn't present itself when you're picking a university is the cost of back-and-forth travel. Being close to home, I can go home as frequently as I want (which isn't too often, I'm still a full-time student here and SMU is home now) without having to worry about how I'm going to get there and at what cost. My friends have to book flights months in advance, get rides to airports, deal with delays occasionally and all of the other stuff that comes with travel. Moving in and moving out of college each year for me is a breeze. 

Nadine Kakish
SMU Mustang from Dallas
Major: International Studies
I know how hard of a struggle it can be to make such a decision—you don’t want to stay close to home, close to your parents, close to the city you grew up in, etc. I had planned on moving to the furthest corners of the country and never in my wildest dreams would I have seen myself winding up so close. But putting all of that aside, I just looked at the university and what it had to offer, and even though it was difficult admitting that this was in fact the only school for me, I can’t even begin to describe how much of a right choice I made!

There are more advantages than you could possibly think of when it comes to staying close to home. For example, you never get homesick. Think about it: you’re close enough to your parents and your home that in the back of your mind you know that your house is only a drive (or even a walk!) away. So you never have to deal with half of the anxieties that the first semester of college can bring. And believe me, every once in a while, you’re gonna want to take your laundry home and take a great shower. 

Even though I grew up in this city, there are so many parts to it that I’m discovering a new area of Dallas almost every weekend…seriously. It almost feels like I’m in a different city because the nightlife, restaurants, events, etc. are all things that you’re not necessarily exposed to in high school. So it feels new, but you have the benefit of being familiar with the major highways. 

Jacqui Jacoby
SMU Mustang from Allen
Majors: Business and Economics
Minor: German
I chose to stay in Dallas and go to SMU because no matter how close I live to campus, SMU is a world of its own. I live just close enough (30 minutes away) to go home if I really need to, but I live far enough away to feel like I'm really living my own life separately from my family. There is so much going on around campus every single day, not to mention all of the amazing and fun things to do in Dallas, so I never feel the need to drive home. But if I need to, home is so close. I never have to ship anything or fly home, which is much less expensive and much more practical. On holidays, I can bring my out-of-state friends over for a home-cooked meal.

Recently, I got the flu, and after trying to tough it out on campus, I drove home and my mom took care of me. I know I'm an adult, and trust me, that was very out of character for me, but it was nice to have the convenience of going home and eating homemade chicken noodle soup. Overall, going to school close to home is, in my opinion, an ideal situation. I get to live my life and be a college kid on campus and in Dallas, and I honestly never feel the need to leave campus, but sometimes it's nice to go home, pet my dog, get a home-cooked meal, and drive 30 minutes back to my friends.