Is it easier to learn mandarin if you already know cantonese?

I know cantonese and have speaking it all my life. But I want to learn mandarin when i go to college. Is it a benefit for me to already know cantonese and apply it to mandarin because if i listen and slow down mandarin (and make some educated guesses here and there =p ), I can understand it. So, what I’m pretty much asking is if I will be able to learn mandarin better than someone who has never really known chinese in general. And I’m not looking for an answer thats like: you have to work hard and study to become fluent in it….I know that…just wondering if it would be a little easier.

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