My least favorite thing about living on campus was not having my cat with me. Yes, I hated that more than the communal bathrooms, lack of air conditioning, my car being several miles away, and the terrible food options that the dining halls had to offer.
I seriously considered getting approval from the university to bring my cat as an emotional support animal and be one of my roommates, since I have ample history with mental illness and could fairly easily gain the proper documentation to have an ESA.
However, even though the process of having an emotional support animal in a dorm on my campus is fairly easy compared to what I've heard about other schools', I didn't want to bring my turd of a cat with me to live in a dorm room. The reasoning behind this is that my cat has an unfortunate tendency to pee on the bed. It's one thing for her to pee on my bed, but to have my poor roommate deal with that smell and potential to have her bed peed upon was something I didn't think was a reasonable request.
So I waited through two years of dorm-living to find off-campus housing where I had my own bedroom so that in the sadly inevitable case that Poki (my turd-ish cat) pees on a bed, it will be on my bed.
My apartment complex isn't pet-friendly, technically, thus I did end up having to get a letter from my psychiatrist identifying Poki as an emotional support animal.
Two and a half months into living with Poki, I've realized that she's even more than an ESA.
Not only does she lift my spirits when I've had a particularly awful day, Poki has given me a form of motivation to keep me going when I don't necessarily feel like taking 18 credit hours and working 30 hours a week.
Poki at home is a reminder that paying rent on time, thus waking up at 6:30 to get to an 8:00 a.m. shift before class starts, is worth it because it's something I couldn't do when I lived in a dorm. She keeps me motivated to earn a big enough paycheck that will fund not only my rent, gas, and food, but will also fund her food and litter box supplies, and will give me wiggle room to pay sorority dues and buy other fun things I want.
Working all these hours on top of going to school, while having Poki at home, reminds me that, if I want to adopt more furry babies into my home in the future, which I so want, I need to get a good job so that I can afford a pet friendly apartment that will allow me not to have to rely upon an ESA letter. It keeps me motivated to go to school and get my degree so I can get that job.
Having my emotional support animal pushes me to be the best I can be, on top of providing emotional support.