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Owning a pet in college: yes or no?

A FLUFFY STRESS RELIEVER // Ashley Kim

Everyone had a childhood pet. And if they didn’t, they wanted one, and envied those who did. These domesticated creatures bring humans joy because of their contagious happy moods and their general ignorance to life and complex thought. It also helps that pets are soft.

The happiness that a pet brings into someone’s life is unprecedented, and owning a pet even has health benefits. College students can take all the help they can get when it comes to their health and taking care of themselves. The Harvard Health Journal says that, “The most obvious benefits of pet ownership are love and companionship,” and there are physical benefits from the energy used to care for them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), owning a pet can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness.

For most students entering college, having the freedom to do what they want is a new experience. Something college students should consider in their quest to fulfill their freedom might include becoming a pet owner; especially if they live with unfulfilled childhood desires.

Being a pet owner is a huge lesson in responsibility. Pets require extensive care, proper nutrition, and constant attention. There’s no better way to grow up in college. Also, their companionship makes caring for them rewarding.

College is a difficult and rigorous four plus years. It is stressful and tedious, and often times rare to have any time to relax. A pet is an ideal companion to share any down time with. Plus, nothing compares to the feeling of being welcomed home by a furry best friend after a long, stressful day of classes. And if the pet isn’t furry, then there’s no comparison to coming home to a well-loved friend.

It is not easy to have a pet in college, but it is worth it. Pets see the best and worst of their owners, and still continue to display love and affection. The bond between a pet and their human is a beautiful one that can exist at any age, even if the owner is in school.

SAVE THE TIME AND MONEY // Mia Dorsey

Leaving home to go to the freeing college scene can be intimidating and lonely, but that void should not be filled with an animal that cannot be properly taken care of.

Pets are a big responsibility, and just because every parent has said the same thing to an eager child doesn’t make it any less true. An animal, no matter their size, adds to a person’s workload. Whether they need to be walked, their litter box cleaned, or their running wheel oiled, a pet is a living thing that needs time devotion. With a full-time class schedule and the necessary job, students likely do not have the required time to care for a live animal.

Not only is time lost, but so is the student’s freedom. Depending on the animal, pets cannot be left alone for too long. If they have a dog, students can’t be away from home for more than eight hours. This means no weekend road trips, sleepovers, or all nighters out, unless the student plans to bring their pet along or pay lots of money for boarding. Regardless, on-a-whim decisions become a thing of the past. 

Even still, students decide to get a pet. The worst thing to see in college is a student with a falsely-claimed Emotional Support Animal that is misbehaved due to lack of time and energy to properly train it, just to save money on pet rent.

If the time devotion doesn’t deter college students from owning a pet, the added expense should. A weekly bag of food or litter should be factored into the college budget, not to mention the unexpected costs of surprise trips to the vet. And if they want their pet to be entertained, students must purchase squeaky toys or laser pointers, further adding to the broke college life.

College can be stressful and lonely, but if the desire for companionship is too overcoming, buy a succulent. Not only are they cute, they are super cheap and hard to kill.

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