Transparency Item: The Perspectives section of the Graphic is comprised of articles based on opinion. This is the opinion and perspective of the writer.
Pets are scientifically proven to make individuals happier and lower stress and anxiety, lower depression and lower blood pressure, according to the Help Guide, a website dedicated to improving mental health. Why shouldn’t we enjoy those health benefits in college too?
If you know me, you know I love my dog Daisy. She lives in my apartment with me, makes daily trips to the newsroom with me, goes on walks to the Country Mart, participates in my sunset walks on the beach and overall makes my roommates and I excited to come home to her.
Pets bring a sense of normalcy and home to college, even if you’re miles away from home. Daisy has been with me since I was 8 years old, so having her with me makes me feel like I’m at home in a normal routine.
Pets often require more work, but someday we are going to have to balance work, children, spouses and the real world — and that’s never an excuse for not having a dog. College shouldn’t be either.
College is a good time to learn how to take care of yourself, but it’s also a good time to learn to care for something else. Even though pets might cause you to have to run home between classes or not be able to be gone for hours on end, the pros of having a pet outweigh the cons. I would never trade having Daisy for having more freedom to be away from home.
Plus, most people like pets. My roommates and friends are constantly asking if they can take Daisy outside or play fetch with her if I’m not home.
There’s a reason universities bring emotional support animals to campus during finals week or after a tragedy. They lower stress, calm students down and reduce anxiety, according to Emory University. By just owning a pet at college, students can enjoy all of those same health benefits everyday.
If a student is stressed about an exam, they can take a few minutes to pet their dog. If a student needs time to unplug and go outside, they can take the dog for a walk. If a student just wants to have a laugh, they can start playing fetch with their dog or teach their dog a new trick.
Having a pet in college has made me feel more independent and responsible and has brought so much joy to my last year of college.
I know it’s not feasible for everyone between roommates, campus life and time management, but if a student can, I’d highly recommend bringing a pet to college.
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