After moving into a house instead of a dorm for college this year, I felt very alone. Sure, I had my roommates but they were often busy and I found myself spending more time in my bed or on the couch instead of being active and enjoying my day. I also have struggled with anxiety for most of my life and after speaking with my therapist, she mentioned having my dog from home live with me at school. It’s now been about six months since I’ve had my dog here with me and I’ve already noticed so many changes about my mood and my health! If you are considering having a dog with you at school, this is your sign to do just that! Here are five benefits of having a dog at school, if you need persuading:
Get Up and Get Moving
The one thing that I’ve loved most about having my dog with me is that she provides the perfect reason to wake up and watch the sunrise. Although most college kids aren’t usually morning people, but my dog has been the perfect reason to get up a little earlier and get a good walk in to start my day off. We usually walk to uptown Oxford and grab a cup of coffee from Kofenya (check it out if you haven’t already!). If we get up early enough, we are usually able to watch the sunrise on our way to get coffee. She doesn’t let me be lazy, which I definitely appreciate.
Meeting New People
Not surprisingly, college kids love dogs! Luckily, my dog is a people person so she loves getting all the attention when people ask to pet her. And since everyones petting my dog, it’s given me a great chance to talk to so many people around campus. Even if we don’t end up being the best of friends, I have seen the same people more than once and it’s fun to be able to talk to new people every day. I also love that my dog is able to relieve stress for other college students.
Speaking of relieving stress, my dog has done a great job of reducing my stress and anxiety levels. Not only are we taking a walk a day (or three) so I’m able to get more than enough movement and vitamin D, it’s been nice to have my dog to cuddle with when school (or just life) feels like too much. She also gives me something else other than myself to take care of, and it truly provides me with a good distraction if I’m having a bad day. Plus, she’s always reading to play!
Having a Companion
Although I do have roommates and friends, my dog has been the best companion. She always comes with me on car rides, grocery shopping, and any TJ Maxx run (her personal favorite). Not only does she like to shop, my dog is also great just to have hanging around the house. It’s nice to have her to watch tv with, do homework with, go for long drives, and basically just have someone to do everything with. Since my dog is registered as an Emotional Support Animal, she does get more benefits than some other dogs, but any dog (registered or not) would make a great companion.
My dog is a small dog, and she can be yappy sometimes. As annoying as that is, it’s actually something that I’ve really appreciated. I feel so much safer having her in the house with me and in my room when I’m sleeping. She always barks when there’s a noise, which at first I found annoying but then I realized that she was also alerting me when someone was coming to the door or if someone was outside, which has really made me feel safe. I find myself sleeping better at night knowing that my dog is there to alert me if something is going on. Even if you have a dog that doesn’t bark, having another set of eyes and ears is definitely beneficial. Not only that, but if you have a big dog, it would definitely be more threatening to an intruder.