5 Suggestions for Having a Pet during College

5 Suggestions for Having a Pet during College

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Studies show that individuals who have pets, dogs in particular, tend to have better physical and emotional health. They tend to get more exercise, socialize more, have reduced stress levels and enjoy more regulated moods. These benefits of pet ownership can extend to college students, too, but you should ensure that you are ready to take on the responsibility for another creature, before you commit to its care. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind if you are a college student who is considering getting a pet.

Does Your Housing Allow Pets?

College dormitories are subject to a number of restrictions, one of which may be a prohibition on pets. Even off-campus housing may forbid pets, so make sure your apartment or house allows pets and find out what kind. Some leases restrict the number, size or type of pet allowed.

Consider the Time Requirements of a Pet

Cats are generally independent and don’t require a great deal of interaction with their owners during the day. Dogs need to be let outside every few hours and tend to bond with their owners emotionally, so if you are away for long periods of time, the animal could become very unhappy. Other pets, such as guinea pigs, hamsters, fish or birds also require regular care that you will have to build into your daily schedule.

Do You Have Money to Support a Pet?

If you are on a very tight budget, a pet may not be a good idea for you. Pets require food, equipment and veterinary care that can add up to thousands of dollars during the year. However, if you feel you can afford to take on the support of an animal, the rewards are considerable.

Can You Arrange Backup?

If your roommates are animal lovers, they may be willing to provide back-up care for the pet. Otherwise, you can connect with someone on-campus that misses their pet, back at home, and will enjoy spending time with your pet, when you are tied up with classes or work. This back-up will also help for veterinary care your pet might need. Pet anesthesia can take hours to wear off. If you’re not available for a number of hours because of your class schedule, do you have someone that can stay or look in on your pet?

What Will You Do with Your Pet on Breaks?

If you go back to your family home where pets are welcome, bringing your pet with you may not be a problem. However, if you plan to travel during your break or can’t bring the pet with you, you will have to make arrangements with a local pet-sitter or reputable kennel. This can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on how long you will be away.

A pet can be part of your “home away from home” while you’re at college, but it requires a commitment of time, money and thought to provide a safe and humane environment. If you love animals and are willing to provide all a pet needs, follow these suggestions and you will then be in a position to have a loving companion to share your college adventure.

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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