Why Emotional Support Animals Are Awesome

Why Emotional Support Animals Are Awesome

Animals have been proven to help reduce anxiety, would you want one to help you?
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Many people, including myself, struggle with some form of anxiety and/or depression, and have yet to find that one thing that helps them get out of it. Fortunately, there is something or a little someone who can help mellow out those horrible feelings... Emotional support animals.

Two of my good friends both suffer from anxiety and depression. Both of them have their own emotional support animals to help them get through rough times while they are in school. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it should be to acquire an animal like this. Due to lots of regulations within schools, animals are technically not allowed. One must apply within the university and give a valid explanation as to why they should be allowed to have one, and have a psychologist's recommendation for the animal. If approved, the campus will usually tell you what kind of animal you can and cannot have on campus. From there, your new friend will have a home.

What I find interesting about emotional support animals is that they are already trained in this line of work. But, they aren't trained in YOU yet. So, you have to spend quality one on one time with your new friend, which is awesome! The ability to spend an entire week with just you and your new pet, is seriously something that everyone would love to do, especially on a college campus.

The concept behind these animals is amazing. They are there for you when you need them, and they are there to help you get through your rough times. I always wish I had tried to get one, but hey, it's not too late. I think everyone should be aware of this option for those in need, because the animals need a home, too!

Cover Image Credit: Kara Hickey

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You Can Still Get Homesick While Having The Time Of Your Life

Not every moment has to be fun and glamorous.

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We often look at college life and study abroad and backpacking trips on other people's Instagrams and see all the fun they're having and all the friends they're making. This is especially the case with study abroad, when these people seem to travel to a new place every weekend and live their absolute best lives. As a result, when we embark on these trips ourselves, there is often a disparity between expectation and reality that can majorly affect you both physically and mentally.

It's important to understand that even if you're meeting new people every day and exploring a new country every week and living out your dreams, there will still be days where you feel like you just want to go home to your group of friends and hangout at the local boba shops or sit with your family at home and just watch TV while fighting over the remote. While you're absorbing all these new and wonderful things around you while abroad, your body will yearn for something familiar, comfortable and secure. And that would be your life at home.

You may feel the need to just stay in your apartment for 2 days straight and binge watch YouTube or call every single one of your friends back home just to catch up. Or you may end up revisiting pictures from the past and salivate over the Korean BBQ trips you took back at home and get intense urges to eat food from home. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this. In fact, a good way to help appease these feelings are to search for the cuisine that you're craving for in your city, and go out of your way to eat it just to get that familiarity back. I have found myself at Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops in Paris more often than I ever was at home, and while others may consider this as a waste of time and that I should be experiencing only French food, it's a really good way to appease those feelings of homesickness. Trust me, the moment you take that first bite of beef noodle soup, you'll feel much, much better.

This isn't to say that you should only stick to the familiar even in a new city. Explore as much as possible and be open to trying new things, but every once in a while, when those feelings of homesickness hit, don't feel bad about buying that boba or starting that 3-hour long video call. After all, you can't have the time of your life if you don't take care of your mental health in the process.

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