Earlier this year, when I returned to Oregon State from winter break, I came home to a puppy! Her name is Winnie, named after Winnie Cooper from the television show, The Wonder Years, and she has been the light of my life since I have gotten her. Winnie has helped me be more responsible, motivated, and social. As I am sure everyone knows, whenever someone sees a puppy, they immediately want to pet it. This has forced me to come out of my shell even more and talk to new people and make new friends.
Better Time Management
Since Winnie is still young, she needs a lot of playtime with long naps in between. As I’ve adjusted to this schedule, I’ve become a more efficient student, getting my schoolwork done more quickly. Before Winnie, I often procrastinated doing homework before due dates and wasted so much time. Now, I have a puppy to look after, play with, and cuddle. Now I make sure to get my homework done on schedule, so I have more time to give my puppy all the love and attention she deserves.
Winnie has also brought my roommates and I significantly closer. We were all great friends before we moved in together, but last term, we were more likely to be found in our respective rooms rather than together in the common living area. Now, we all spend as much time as we can in the common areas studying, hanging out, and playing with the puppy. This has helped our relationship as a whole and our individual relationships with each other. We have been communicating more than ever and have prioritized keeping these common areas clean so Winnie does not get into anything that she is not supposed to.
Improved Mental Health
Winnie has also helped with my mental health more than I could have imagined. She has encouraged me to get up earlier than before and has just overall made me much happier. Although sometimes she can stress me out, the way that she always lightens the mood and is there when I need her outweighs the stressful times. There were times last year where I would lay in bed all day because I didn’t have a reason to get up. Winnie has given me a reason to get up, which has encouraged me to go to class rather than skipping classes and falling behind. She has also helped with the mental health of all of my roommates. The way we like to put it is that whenever we play with her or she lays next to us for her nap, it’s a “serotonin boost”.
One of the main reasons I really wanted a dog was because I miss my family and my dog at home. Last summer, I was living in my townhouse pretty much all by myself until my roommates moved in. It was very lonely and hard to get myself to do anything besides work and lay on the couch all day. Winnie has filled a huge hole in my life, and I am more than grateful that I was able to get her. I now have a best friend that will be by my side throughout college and whatever the future brings.
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