By Janessa Rutiaga
Blog Content Contributor
When it comes to having a pet in college, most of my friends and family advised against it. Everyone says “it’s too much money” or “they’ll take up too much of your time,” but despite these things, having a pet in college is still worth it. According to an article on LiveScience by Jennifer Walsh, it’s proven that pet owners are happier, healthier and more confident than those who don’t. Even just being around a dog or petting one is proven to relieve stress, which is why Texas State brings dogs to Alkek during midterms and finals. There are various reasons why I feel like having a pet during your college years is not only important but a necessity.
1. Constant companionship
You will never feel alone or out of place with a pet. With a student body as big as Texas State it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong, and to feel downright lonely. However, coming home to an empty apartment is so much more welcoming knowing that there’s a ball of fur waiting for hugs and walk. Your pet will be your best friend and biggest supporter.
2. A personal body guard
When I told my parents that I would be living in a studio apartment for the year, they were terrified. I live 4 hours from my home town and the idea of not having anybody around to look out for me was scary. I cannot explain the relief on my parents face when I told them that I adopted a puppy. My dog is probably the only reason why I feel completely safe going to bed at night. I know that if anyone was outside my door, or if a break-in was going to happen my 40 lb. Pitbull is going to scare them away.
Having a pet means no more coming home at 2 in the morning, no more sleeping till noon and no more procrastination. I wake up at the same time every day because my dog became my personal alarm clock. Having a pet is almost like having a baby (but not quite as much responsibility, of course). You can’t just get up and go anymore, you can’t stay out late, and you can’t not come home. You have a living thing that heavily relies on you (and loves you) for food, water, and care. This does wonders for your sleeping schedule, and makes you much more responsible and well-rounded as a person.
4. A personal trainer
Having a dog means daily walks, and if it’s a puppy that means two walks. My dog, Stark, is the main reason I get up 3 hours before my first class. I walk him before I leave for the day, and I walk him again when I’m home for the day. I have even come to love the outdoors because my dog will always be allowed to come with me. Having Stark has significantly improved my time outdoors and my physical health.
5. Unconditional love
My dog quickly became my best friend, and he is more than happy to lay in bed with me and chill in PJs all weekend. He always sits and listens to my day, practically hanging off my every word as I feed him biscuits. I’m greeted by a wagging tail, and a big smile every time I walk through my front door. During thunderstorms and in the middle of the night I can always count on him to watch over me and keep my feet warm. When your stressed or upset your pet won’t pester you with questions, but simply lay on your lap and lick your face until you’re okay.
Since graduating high school and coming to college, I’ve made a lot of decisions. Some good and some horribly bad, but I can confidently say that getting my dog was the best thing that I’ve ever done for myself. To all those college students that have pets, I’m sure you related to everything I had to say. Those who want a pet but don’t think you can handle it; get one. It’ll be one of the greatest decisions you will ever make.