University is a beautiful place for personal fulfillment and growth. This, however, comes at the price of busy weeks and often hectic weekends. That being said, University is not the place to take care of other living creatures, other than perhaps that friend who drinks a little too much.
Okay, sure, ‘Sparkles’ is probably the cutest cat on the block, but factoring in physics lab, U.S. history reading and the English essay you’ve been meaning to write, Sparkles is most likely thoroughly depressed from a lack of attention. There is no way a college student can balance work, school, friendships and Sparkles’ well-being.
You might be thinking to yourself, ‘Well, of course I can,’ with an upset scowl on your face resembling that of Sparkles when she doesn’t get to play with her favorite toy. Let me be the first to tell you, I know my opinion is unpopular with the rise of emotional support animals. I understand their importance to some people, but I fail to realize how adding another component of stress in your life will make it any easier.
As students, we don’t have the time to tell Sparkles not to piss on the curtains. More than this, we don’t have the money to get them replaced either. Tight budgets might mean you can’t quite get the medical care for your pet when they need it, or worse yet, can’t do laundry that week because your paycheck came in late.
It still unsettles me that people are fine with leaving their pet, more likely than not, in a small apartment all day long while they go to classes, chat with friends and socialize. Imagine what your precious Sparkles gets to do. Have you ever been to prison? It’s kind of like that, but with more pillows to rip open.
Taking in a pet is a long-term commitment that I simply don’t believe most college students are ready to undertake. If you can barely plan for what’s ahead of you in the scope of what’s for dinner on Saturday night, how can you plan for when your pet decides to rip your roommate’s geology notes apart. My point is that you wouldn’t be able to, and that's a problem.
Yes, pets can be a great asset to your life. Yes, pets can provide love and companionship. Yes, pets are sometimes preferred over human interaction. But, in this stage of our lives, can we really say they are allowing us to truly succeed? Furthermore, are we giving them the best care we could possibly give?
Our fine campus is blessed with roaming cats that can be seen doing all sorts of cat-related activities. My recommendation: take solace in these furry friends, and be mindful of the effects negligent animal care can have on your favorite pet.