We all love pets. They’re so cute and adorable and they give us the love we need when we need it – often unconditionally. They have also been shown to reduce stress and have lots of other mental health benefits. And so, when you go off to college I can see how you’d want to take your pet with you. It’s your best buddy, after all.
Nonetheless, that might not be the best idea. Pets and universities often don’t mix very well. This goes double for dorms where you’re often living incredibly close together. Here are some of the best reasons why that is true.
Some people don’t like animals
Yes, I know. It’s hard to believe but that doesn’t make it less true. There are plenty of people who don’t like animals. In some cases this might be because they had a bad experience with them. in others, they might be allergic. Or, you know, you might just have the bad luck of living near somebody who likes to do nasty things to animals for their own amusement (yes that is a sign of psychopathy).
The big problem is that you don’t know what kind of people are going to be living near to you and if they’re going to be these kinds of people. In a worst case scenario you find out that it’s your room mate who is allergic (or a budding sociopath). Even if that’s not the case, as you’re all loving very close together there is always a chance that even if you don’t live in the same room with somebody who doesn’t like animals, you’re going to be running into them a lot anyway.
Then there’s the problem that some people might not realize they don’t like animals as much as they thought they did. This could be because they’ve never lived with animals before. Or they say they like them but then it turns out they felt cornered when you showed up with your cat and lied. Then, as the year progresses there is all sorts of problems as a result.
Some people don’t understand animals
Even if you’re lucky and everybody likes animals, that doesn’t mean they’ll all treat them the way they’re supposed to be treated. I had a house mate who loved to give alcohol to his cat and his fish. As both animals are not made to drink alcohol, they ended up dying as a result. The poor things Similarly, they might feed them human food or food that’s really bad for them (like a lot of people still believe you should give milk to a cat).
What’s more, some people are just immature and will do things to your pet which are bad for it, just because it’s fun to do it. For example, I knew one guy who would give bong hits to their dog. The poor animal didn’t know what hit him and would wonder around in a daze for hours until finally he wandered in front of a car. Yeah, the guy felt bad. I’m pretty sure the dog felt worse.
As you won’t always be around to take care of your pet, these kinds of foods can end up in their diet without you even realizing it.
Student life is poor
Another big problem is that if you’ve got an expensive pet, that’s going to make your finances even more difficult to deal with. I mean, sure, you’ve set enough money aside for their food and to get their toenails cut. But what if there is a medical emergency? How will you pay for those when you can barely afford two meals a day and when you have to buy school supplies and essay help?
And it takes a stronger person than me to not resent their pets if they’re taking food out of their mouths. Do you really want to resent your pet when it’s not their fault but yours that they’re out there with you at college?
You never know what’s going to be happening
When you’re at university you never know what’s going to go down. One drink with a friend might degenerate into an all night bender. A trip to the library might become a road trip across the state. These are the big reason why university life is so fun. The spontaneity of it all.
That becomes a lot harder with a pet. After all, they can’t feed themselves if you don’t show up at their normal time. They’ll also often make a mess of things when you’re not around. Not to mention what kind of chaos they can create when they’re not taken out for their regular walks or when their litterbox is not cleaned on time.
And of course that’s not your intention when you’re going to school, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. So do the responsible thing by realizing that you might not be as responsible at university as you would like to be.
And finally, what about your family back home? Won’t they miss the animal? Because though we might say that the dog is mine or the cat belongs to your sister, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Often the animal doesn’t see it that way (they don’t think of themselves as possessions) and your family probably doesn’t either.
And so, taking them away from the environment they know and love and away from the people who love, to a place where there are a lot of new people they might not get along is often not in their best interests.
Of course you can disregard everything I’ve said and take your pet to school with you. That’s your prerogative. But when you do, make sure you’re always paying attention to whether this is actually good for them. And the moment you realize it’s not, swallow your pride and take the animal home.
Yes, you might have to accept some stern words from the rest of the family, but it’s not about you. It’s also about your pet. And if they’re unhappy, unhealthy and not getting the attention they deserve then it’s your duty to do something about it. Even if that does force you to swallow your pride and break your heart.
About the Author:
There will be no other try than the one we get right now, so use it or lose it.