ESA in College

ESA in College

I'm so glad I have her in my life, but sometimes I wonder what it would be to be a normal person.

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You have a cat? What's her name, how old is she, where did you get her from, what's her backstory? Are you supposed to have a cat in your room? Is it messy with a cat? How does she live in a small college dorm room? How do you get an ESA? What's wrong with you? Can I get one too?

Whenever people find out I have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) all I get is questions. Yes, I have a cat. Her name is Kalani, and she is 1. I went to the shelter asking for a specific cat only to find out he was adopted the day before. I asked them what cat would be a good ESA that could live in a dorm, and they directed me to Kalani. I only had to meet her once to know that she was the one. Kalani loves everyone and is always full of energy. She always knows when something is wrong and is always by your side. Since she's so young, she's super curious and her curiosity/stupidity makes me cry laughing almost everyday. We don't know her backstory and since it seems there's nothing/no one she's afraid of, I'm okay with not knowing.

Yes, I'm supposed to have a cat in my room. I have done the paperwork and it has been approved. You're allowed to have your prescription medicine in your room, it's the same thing. She is for my health. The messy question always trips me up. Food, litter, etc. there is no mess, but if you're talking about toys, yes there's always toys on the floor. She's little, she likes to play, and I have classes so I can't play with her every second of the day. She's perfectly fine in a dorm.

The questions that always hurt the most is people asking "What is wrong with you?" or "I want a cat, how do I get one?". I have mental illnesses, I need her. If I didn't have to have her here I probably wouldn't. Yes, a cat at college is nice, but YOU are responsible for her care. You can't just leave for the weekend without packing her up and taking her too. You have to be aware of where she is everytime you open that door. You have to put up with the endless questions. You have to put up with her standing on what you are working on (laptop, homework, food, etc.) and pushing things off the table. You have to put up with every annoying thing an animal does and give it all the attention in the world, even when you want to be left alone. Don't get me wrong, an animal at college is nice, it's one less thing you have to miss from home, but it's not as fun as it seems.

I need her more than anything. She's better than any medicine I've tried, any friend I've called during a breakdown, and any therapist I've been to. I have depression, anxiety, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder. The collection of those things make life really hard, especially in a new place like college. An ESA makes it bearable, or at least it's bearable having something there to help with every breakdown. The nights when I'm sobbing for no reason, having panic attacks because of my past, overthinking about everything I wish I could change in my life, lonely, or having a bad day; she's there no matter what.

I'm so glad I have her in my life, but sometimes I wonder what it would be to be a normal person. To be able to out and have fun, not have to worry about an animal in my room,not be so scared someone will find out about Kalani and having to try to explain that I'm screwed up so much I have an ESA, and not be scared every roommate will leave me because they can't put up with either my moods or Kalani misbehaving.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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It Is OK To Have Guy Friends That Are Literally Just Guy Friends

Some of my best friends are guys and sometimes they are better friends than girls are.

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Lately, I have come to the realization that some of my guy friends are better then some girls I call my "friends". Ever since middle school, I have always had many guy friends that have always been just guy friends, and nothing more. Some girls had a problem with it back then and they still do now, maybe because they are jealous, or maybe because they feel left out. However, I decided a long time ago to keep those guy friends for reasons like...

1. They Don't Take Things So Seriously

You can always joke around with them, and they will joke around with you right back. You can be as nice as you want or as mean as you want to them, and they will always take it as joke. I think that sometimes girls have a difficult time deciphering between when you are being serious or when you are joking. Most of my guys friends tend to not things too seriously at least 75% of the time.

2. They Are Always Honest

When I need a blatantly honest opinion I always ask my guy friends (and my mom). I do this because guys do not really care about whether or not their response will make you mad. Also, guys do not think about if their answer will benefit them personally or not before they answer.

3. They Genuinely Listen To You

Not all the time. But when I am upset, they are always the ones most concerned. Some of my guy friends take over the "big brother" role when it comes to some situations. My guy friends always listen to my problems or just the same old rants I give all the time because if something is wrong, or something has hurt me, they want to know, in order for them to try and fix it.

I am not trying to say that my girl friends are not my best friends either, and I really do have the best best friend. But sometimes, it just feels good to hangout with my guy friends. Guy friends, that I have never had a romantic relationship or feelings for and they have not had for me. These guys have always been there, and for that I am grateful.

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