What It’s Like to Be in College as an Animal Lover

I’ve always been a huge animal lover. When I felt like people wouldn’t understand what I was going through, animals always did. My cat, for instance, is the sweetest thing ever. She’s chubby, and all that chub is just made of love. Whenever I feel sad, she seems to know and will make her way over to me, sit on my lap, and purr. She’ll give me little kisses and try to cheer me up in her own way, and it works!

Obviously, I couldn’t take her with me to college. I had to say goodbye to her, my dad’s cat, my boyfriend’s bearded dragon, and my family dog – it was really hard. How would they understand I wasn’t abandoning them? My cat struggled at first; she would cry and search for me around the house and run over to my parents if she heard me on the phone. Eventually, she settled in and it was okay. Over the years, she’s gotten more use to the fact that I leave but that I will always come back for her. It’s still difficult, though. I can’t be sure she truly understands what happens during the school year. I can chat to my parents on the phone and update them about how I am and what I have been doing, but I can’t do that with my cat (I won’t say I don’t try, though).

When I’m away from home and away from animals, I miss them so much. I crave their companionship and would do anything to be able to bring my pets with me. Granted, they probably wouldn’t enjoy the traveling or the change of scenery all that much. I just have to miss them from afar and wait to see them when I come home on breaks. Meanwhile, if you’ve been in college for any length of time, you know that seeing a dog on the street and getting to pet them is the best feeling ever. I live for these moments! No wonder they bring in therapy animals during finals– it’s such a stress relief!

It’s really hard to be away from your animals for so long, especially when you love them with all your heart. They truly are family, and I can only hope that they understand that I miss them every day.


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