While many college students would call it crazy, I chose to bring my dog to college with me.
Here’s why it was both the best and worst decision ever:
- The Best Friend: Living alone can be extremely lonely, but having a dog to keep me company has made it 100 times better. Who else is willing to spend all day every day with you?
- The Stress Reliever: Between difficult classes, intense workloads, and extracurriculars, college can be quite stressful. Some colleges have therapy dog events during exam weeks—I have a “therapy” dog every week.
- The Snuggle Buddy: My dog makes sure I know when it’s time for sleep by scratching on the side of my bed persistently until we both get in it. Annoying? Sometimes. But having a dog to cuddle with every night, nap, anything is unbeatable.
- The Social Butterfly: Whenever I walk my dog around campus, people stop me to ask if they can pet him or gush about how cute he is. My friends are obsessed with him. His presence is requested at study sessions, dinners, coffee dates—pretty much any and every get-together.
- The Responsibility: While I could argue this as both a pro and a con, having a dog is a huge responsibility. I need to make sure to feed, walk and play with him. There’s no “snooze” option when I’m in the middle of something or want to go somewhere. However, I believe this responsibility has made me more mature and held me more accountable.
- The Alarm Clock: The biggest con for me, as someone who both needs and loves their sleep, was waking up early to walk my dog. Getting out of bed is probably the most challenging thing in my everyday life and having to do so about five hours earlier than I would choose to was incredibly hard.
- The Miscellaneous Mishaps: As with humans, from time to time dogs have “bad days.” From getting into my trash can to chewing on my shoes to spreading my laundry around my entire apartment, there were definitely days that I came home to unwelcome housewarming gifts.