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Wellness > Mental Health

Can a Dog Save Me From Loneliness?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNCC chapter.

College has not been the easiest ride for me. As I move into my last 2 semesters, I realize that there are many things that I regret; things I regret not doing, but also things I regret doing. I spent many of my years in school feeling lonely, and honestly just ready for that graduation date. I eventually found my people, but those feelings of loneliness never seemed to fade. It wasn’t until October of last year that I had this revelation: why don’t I get a dog?


I mean, it was the perfect plan! This dog would fix this feeling of loneliness that I had and then my worries would be gone. Or so I thought.


As you may have guessed it, I was wrong.


Don’t get me wrong, it is one of the best things in the world to come home to a happy, sweet pup after a long day. And now in the days of the mask, it is hilarious to see her try and lick my face with my mask still on. But that loneliness still stayed. It seemed as if no matter how many people (and now dogs) I had in my life, nothing seemed to get better.


The results were not immediate, but now, a year later, I can see true positive changes in my life that yes, I controlled, but the love of my dog really helped with.


There are two things that she did help me overcome, that have literally become lifechanging: my feelings of self-doubt and lack of self-confidence, things I really didn’t know that I suffered from. Her constant companionship and love helped me to see what I am worthy of and things I am capable of. (and yes, we’re still talking about a dog)


Before her, I had never been much of a dog person, but trust me I now know the true gift of having one. While in the long run, I know that I’m the one responsible for these life changes, it truly does help knowing there is always one thing in the world that loves and cares for me endlessly.


Her wanting to constantly be outside has made me more active and has also helped me to get to know the people who live around me. My ability to care for her as I do translates into caring for myself and the people around me.


While making the choice to adopt a dog is a big one, it is definitely one that I recommend wholeheartedly. They help you to see things in yourself that you did not realize possible by literally doing nothing but being themselves. Sometimes it is a struggle having a dog while in college, but, as I said, what they do for you (and what you do for them) is one of the best things in the world.





Hailey Vinson, (she/her/hers), is a senior Middle Grades Education Major at UNC Charlotte who is passionate about mental health and treating others with kindness. She works part-time at a local-nonprofit coffee shop and book store, and loves spending time with her dog.
Emma Ponder is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a sociology & psychology double major. Emma works at a local specialty coffee shop in Charlotte and is an oat milk enthusiast. Her driving force is her dog Nora and her many many houseplants. she/her