Five Benefits Pet Ownership Brings to College Students

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Kylie Guzman
A large gray cat sits on the windowsill of a college apartment by a string of red lights.

Ever been alone in your dorm, apartment, or room and felt like you were in a rut because of the amount of stress school or life has thrown on you? I know I have.

We can all agree that college is a relatively strange time in young adults’ lives. For most, it is their first time living on their own, away from their safety net, being left to navigate the “adult world” solo. For others, this could just be a highly anxiety-inducing situation. Friends, family, mentors, and advisors are all an important part of helping navigate this transition, but they are not always reliable or able to fully alleviate stressors.

Introducing a pet into your life could help fill in those gaps the people in your life are not able to fulfill. Owning a pet as a college student comes with some benefits and here are five of them!

1. Emotional Support: Pets can provide emotional support to college students, especially when they are away from home and feeling homesick or stressed. They can help reduce anxiety, depression and can also provide comfort during tough times.

2. Improved Mental Health: Studies have shown that pets can have a positive impact on mental health. Owning a pet can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve overall mood, which is essential for college students dealing with a lot of academic pressure.

3. Responsibility and Time Management: Owning a pet comes with responsibilities such as feeding, grooming, and taking care of them. This can help college students learn time management skills and develop a sense of responsibility and accountability.

4. Increased Social Interaction: Pets can be great conversation starters and can help college students connect with other pet owners on campus. This can lead to increased social interaction, which is especially important for students who are shy or introverted.

5. Exercise and Physical Activity: Having a pet can encourage college students to get more exercise and physical activity. This is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially for those who spend a lot of time sitting and studying. Taking a dog for a walk or playing with a cat can help students stay active and energized throughout the day.

College students should use realistic decision making when considering pet ownership and/or what type of pet is compatible with their schedule and living environment. But overall, owning a pet can enhance and support college student life with many positive benefits!

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