Perks of Pets in College

Rebecca Pollard, Contributing Writer dog

Some people believe that owning an animal in college is a bad idea. Many students think that an animal would just be an added nuisance to their schedule, another thing to tend to on the “to-do” list. Many adults are opposed to their children owning a pet in school because they don’t think their kids are responsible enough to handle it and will just be an added expense. However, contrary to popular belief, college kids can be responsible for animals while in school and many are. Whether it’s a fish in a dorm room or a dog in an off campus house, college kids do own (and sustain) pets.
Those of you who own pets are probably aware of the benefits that come with having an animal in college. For example, the act of stroking a pet is known to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. This explains why you’ve seen puppies in the quad near midterm exams. Also, walking or even playing with a pet at all usually involves aerobic exercise, which is not only healthy for the pet but also for the human. For students who find they are more of an introvert than an extrovert, owning an animal could be an excellent social outlet.
A study done in a community sample found that those who owned a pet had greater self-esteem and got more exercise. The same researchers assessed a different community and found that pets provide a complemented support system, giving compainionship that people cannot provide. Lastly, pets have been found to help ward off negativity caused by social rejection, meaning pets can help heal wounds of being excluded from a group, not making a sports team or even help people through breakups. Pets could also potentially cure homesickness. Having an animal around, even a fish, can make any room feel a little more like home for pet-lovers.
In a time where students are going through their highest-highs and lowest-lows, what could be more comforting than having a pet to be there for them at the end of every day?

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