We Didn't Do Anything to Deserve Pets, But They Deserve Celebration!
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Most college campuses, including UT, do not allow their residents to have pets, other than non-predatory (and boring) fish, in the on-campus dorms. This is something most college students neither like nor agree with. There's many reasons why pets should be allowed in dorms and it's time to explore those reasons!
1. Pets teach responsibility.
Having pets teaches responsibility. Not only do we have to take care of ourselves, but we also have to take care of another living creature. From making sure it has food and water, to taking it to the vet, on walks, and to the bathroom, there's so much that goes into taking care of a pet. The pet won't let you forget about it and you learn responsibility in the process.
2. Pets are stress-relievers.
It has been proven that petting an animal can help reduce stress and lead to happiness. Colleges bring dogs in around finals week to help students relieve their stress but if students were allowed to have pets in their dorms, their stress levels would be much lower all the time, meaning their work quality would be much higher because they're significantly less stressed.
3. Having a pet can lead to roommate bonding.
When considering having a pet, one would have to discuss it with their roommates. This would be a situation where the roommates would have to agree on the pet, the care schedule, and the pet's expenses. Roommates would spend time working through these details and then when it comes to playing with the pet, it's a great way for all the roommates to spend time together!
4. Colleges love taking students' money.
I am convinced that colleges are in a competition with each other to see which school can get the most money out of their students. Why else would one textbook cost $180 and classes cost thousands of dollars every year? Don't even get me started on the outrageous price of meal plans for not very great quality food! Well, with pets being allowed on campus, it would be easy for college to charge students even more. Colleges could say you have to pay an extra $50 to keep a pet in your dorm and many students would find that it's definitely worth having a pet for an extra $50! When you move out of your dorm, colleges like to carefully inspect every inch for any possible damages they can fine you for. If a pet lived in the dorm they could carefully inspect for any damages caused by pets and charge residents even more! At the end of the day, students would find paying a little extra worth it to have their furry friend with them at school.
5. Fish aren't fun.
College campuses allow you to have non-predatory fish in your dorm. OK, what does that do for me? I put it in its bowl, I buy it food and rocks, I change the water in its bowl once a week, and we repeat week after week. I can only watch a fish swim around in circles for so long before I go absolutely insane! Fish also die very quickly and are ultimately just a waste of money. Instead of buying fish food, bowls, rocks, and numerous fish, students could put that money towards another pet that is much more rewarding and entertaining, such as a small pet like a hamster.
6. Pets help with depression and loneliness.
It has been proven that pets can help with depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Animals can be registered as emotional support pets due to their positive impact on health. Having pets can help students coping with mental illnesses and just the stresses of being a college student.
7. Having a pet encourages you to get outside.
Pets need to go outside to get fresh air and exercise, and so do humans! Unfortunately, it's easy for college students to neglect their need to be outside just because they're busy studying or watching Netflix in their bed sounds more appealing. Animals have to go outside though and that makes their owners get up to take them out. Once outside it's not hard to see what is so fantastic about it and next thing you know you're taking your rabbit on a walk. This encourages getting outside and exercise which improves your overall physical health.
8. Pets help you make friends.
When people see your pet they ask if they can pet it. When people see your pet and they have their own pet they want your animals to become friends. Animals are an instant conversation starter and it's so easy to become friends with other pet owners and other animal lovers in general!
9. Having a pet teaches you how to budget.
Pets are a financial decision one chooses to make. When they make this decision it's important to formulate a budget, accounting for all the pets' financial needs. This means they have to calculate their other costs too, ultimately creating a working budget they can stick to!
10. Pets provide entertainment.
Animals are very entertaining and offer hours of enjoyment. If students were allowed to have pets they would spend less time staring at a screen- laptops, phones, tablets, TVs, etc. and more time enjoying the animal and the people around them who also find enjoyment in the animal. This improves students' health as well as their vision because staring at a screen all day for both school work and entertainment is very detrimental to your mental health as well as your eyes.
11. Pets can sense danger
Pets have been proven to have been able to sense earthquakes, storms, illnesses -- including cancer, seizures, labor, and more all before they happen! Having a pet can mean this extra sense of comfort when it comes to danger. Pets have been known to save children from drowning, families from burning houses, and sacrificing their lives for their beloved human family. This could mean college students getting out of a burning dorm building faster and safer than had they not had a pet in their dorm.
12. Pets offer a sense of security.
Many people experience an extra sense of security when they have animals around. This includes when it comes to strangers in their homes and knowing their pet can and will protect them. There's many heroic stories of dogs protecting their families in many different situations and even though most of those situations don't happen on a daily basis, it is still nice to have that extra sense of security.13. Animal shelters are overflowing with animals.
13. Save a life!
It's a sad reality but most animal shelters have more animals than they can care for and most of these animals won't get adopted. Adopting from a shelter is much cheaper than buying from a breeder and sometimes is even free! Allowing pets in college dorms would mean supporting local shelters as students went to find a pet in need of a loving home, for a lower price.14. Having a pet helps you create a routine.
14. Helps create a routine.
It's so easy to come back from class and jump in bed with your laptop to watch some Netflix. Day in and day out, more and more Netflix, eventually your only routine is go to class, come home from class, watch Netflix. Having a pet on campus would allow students to create a better, more health schedule that included responsibilities and tending to their pets needs. Their new routine might include get up, take dog outside, feed dog, go to class, come home, walk dog, do homework, play with dog, etc. This new routine is much more productive and is healthier for the students' mind and body.15. Pets from home can help with the transition from home to college.
15. Pets from home can help the transition.
Transitioning from home to college is scary. Your mom can't be with you and most of your friends probably aren't going to the same school as you. Bringing a loved one from home could be very beneficial in making this transition much easier. A pet you've grown up with is part of the family and if pets are allowed in college dorms then your pet could come with you and it'd be just like bringing part of home to school with you.
If college refers to us as adults who are capable of taking out student loans to pay for their overpriced education, we should have the right to have pets in our dorms. We are paying to live there and if that living space is up to par for us then it should be more than prepared for an animal to live there. Not only does having a pet offer so many valuable lessons to college students, it also supports local businesses-- vet offices and pet shops. It also helps animals become adopted and find their forever homes, which in the long run can help end the social problem of homeless animals. Basically, allowing pets in college dorms helps the world to become a better place and students to be happier and healthier.
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