Having a pet in college is worth the effort

By Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter

Being able to have a genuine relationship with a animal is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Every animal is unique, just like all humans are unique.

For some, college can be one of the most stressful periods of time in their lives. Our self-esteem can go from a 10 to a one in the same day. When we start to feel down, we tend to let ourselves go, physically and mentally.

A pet won’t ever judge you; they will always listen to you and love you constantly. Having a furry, feathery or scaly friend to come home to and be with is proven to be beneficially healthy.

A study by Andrea Beetz proves pets are good for your health and notes that, “Contact with pets seem to counteract this stress response by lowering stress hormones and heart rate. They also lower anxiety and fear levels (psychological responses to stress) and elevate feelings of calmness.” Having a bond with another human you love and trust is incredible, but sometimes I think having a bond with a pet is better.

I remember when my parents got me my first dog when I was six-years old. She was a Maltese, and we named her Candy. I was instantly obsessed with her and fell in love.

She was a huge reason why I was able to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. On my first day of freshman year of college, she passed away just as I was going to school.

I wasn’t able to sleep or eat well for weeks. Looking for another dog was hard because I didn’t want to replace Candy, but I needed something to fill the whole inside of me – badly.

On the last day I was about to give up on a search for another dog, I found Lucy. Today, she is two years old and my pride and joy.

Just looking at her can make all the negative thoughts in my head go away –– it’s amazing.

Having a pet is a great experience, but it does come with a lot of responsibility and requires the owner to have a high level of maturity.

Some pet owners can argue that a human child and a pet are moderately the same, in that they both require constant care and attention.

I like to say that having a pet prepares people for a human child. Especially in college, for those who want to have children later in life, having a pet is a great first experience.

That is to say, get a pet if you can afford it in terms of cost, time and energy. Having a pet is not always easy, but I promise it is worth it.