Editorial: Are your pets ready for school?


The ISD Editorial Board discusses what it’s like for college students who had to leave their pets behind when they came to Ames.One editorial board member’s cat, Oreo, is pictured above. 

Lots of households have pets. Pets help to make childhoods so much better. Your pet can be your best friend and you grow up together, figuring out how to take on the world. Soon you are 18 and ready to head off to college. But, you have to leave your furry companion at home. It feels unfair, like part of you is being taken away from you. But is it for the best? 


Aside from emotional support and service animals, should college students be allowed to have pets in their on campus housing? Our editorial board says no. We understand how beloved pets are, and know leaving them behind at home can be rough. But considering how hectic college is, would it really be a good idea to bring your furry friends here anyways? 


I mean, think about it. Your dorm or campus apartment is not really all that spacious anyways. How can your dog or cat run around and enjoy their days in a cooped up environment? Plus, in a not very spacious environment, cleanliness is definitely also a problem to consider. We could run into problems such as the building becoming unhygienic. Let’s be real, college students are busy people and so cleaning up after their pet may lack a bit sometimes. That could lead to some bigger problems down the road. 


College students are also notorious for forgetting important things. I mean how many assignments get turned in late or laundry doesn’t get done simply because it slips the student’s mind? Which is no fault to the student, sometimes things just slip our minds. But if you forget about what is essentially your main job while you are at school, can students’ be trusted to bring another living being into the equation? Animals require a lot of responsibility, so forgetting to feed them or give them water could be detrimental to their health. Pets rely on their humans to help them survive and so even a slight miss up could be devastating. 


So, let’s say you should not bring your little four legged friend to campus. Yet, you have had one around your entire life, how are you to cope? Good news! We live in a really good time for this to be the case. Your family at home can send you pictures. You can have your parents or siblings send you photos of your pet via email, text message, or even paper mail if you would like. Or, video calls are an option! Your best friend can hear you say their name through an electronic device, and search for you around the house. I personally love these options, because they allow you to actually see your little friend and know that they are doing alright. 


Another really great option is volunteering. Animal shelters are located everywhere, and from past experiences they are always looking for help. Really, a win-win situation. You get to hangout with other animals and get some quality time in, while the animal shelter gets help taking care of the animals they are working with. In the Ames area alone there are three that come up with a quick google search. Those dogs and cats could be waiting to give you love. 


Your childhood best friend may not be able to follow you to college unfortunately. But there are ways to cope with missing them at the tips of your fingers. If just pictures and videos are not enough, you can reach out and get involved in your local community. Colleges also sometimes bring therapy dogs to campus, watch out for that too! Getting to pet some other animals may make missing yours just a little easier.