My heart has fur and whiskers, and her name is Arya (yes, named after the GoT queen herself). She’s the sweetest little Calico cat that recently stumbled into my life, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. Before I go on about how getting a pet in college was the best decision I have ever made, I think it’s important to point out that I never planned on getting a pet in college. Some of my friends have had dogs and/or cats while in college, and I have seen how difficult it can be. Caring for a pet takes time and money, both of which are hard to come by for most college students. I never planned on getting my own pet until well after I graduated. But when I found that poor filthy stray kitten in the Rite Aid parking lot back home, what was I to do? It was love at first sight.
I am three months into the semester, and I have yet to think “I can’t do this” or “this is too hard.” My cat has been one of the best parts of my senior year. Dare I say it, having her has even made me more mature. I’ve learned to budget my money, which I definitely wasn’t the best at before getting her. A good chunk of my money goes to her food and litter each month (and a toy here and there because I LOVE spoiling her!), and I always need to have some money set off to the side in case of any emergency vet visits. I’ve also never been a morning person, but I’ve found myself enjoying them more and more. My alarm clock has been traded in for the endless, sandpaper-like kisses that Arya gives me all over my face every morning at precisely 7AM. College is a crazy stressful time, but the unconditional love you get from a pet makes it all the more bearable. Every day of my senior year so far, I’ve been able to come home after a stressful day and cuddle up with my cat, and it has been G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. I always thought that having a pet in college would be a huge responsibility that I would never be ready for, but now I couldn’t imagine going through this year without her.
While I think having a pet in college is great, there are few things you should keep in mind before getting one. Yes, they’re cute and loving, but they are also a big responsibility. They can take up a LOT of your time. Luckily, I’m a senior so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything when I choose to stay at home instead of going out. If you are going to get a pet, wait until you’re an upperclassmen. Spend your first and sophomore years only having to be responsible for yourself! I’m also lucky because my roommate has her own cat, so while leaving Arya to go to class is always sad, it’s nice that she has a friend and won’t be lonely while I’m gone.
Getting a pet in college was never something I planned on doing, but I am so glad I did. It’s hands down the best decision I’ve made while at college, and I have absolutely zero regrets! If you’re considering getting a pet while in college, please do so only if you are truly ready for the responsibility that comes with getting one. They are living animals that can’t be picked up and thrown away on a whim, and it’s not fair for them to suffer just because you aren’t prepared. But if you’re ready for everything that comes with caring for a pet (the good and the bad), get ready for a love like no other!