By: MICHELLE MCGRATH ‘17
It has been a long stressful day. Your homework is piling up, your stress level is high, and you are feeling overwhelmed. You return to your dorm room and your loving dog greets you excitedly. His tail is wagging and he comes over and gives you a big wet kiss. Immediately your stress level drops. You start to relax and your dog settles in by you while you finish your schoolwork. Although this is ideal, unfortunately this isn’t the experience of most college students.
College campuses should allow dogs on campus because they help with stress. A survey given by Associated Press and mtvU learned that 8 in 10 college students experience stress occasionally or frequently in their lives. By having a dog, students can help lower their stress. According to the Huffington Post, dogs are known to lower stress and loneliness. College students, especially during midterms and finals, experience high levels of stress. By owning their own dogs, students can reduce some of the built up tension they have while also improving their mood. This could be helpful for people who experience depression because “pets can help some people with mild to moderate depression feel better” according to WebMD.
Animals, give unconditional love and affection. Animals are dedicated to their owners and will treat them with respect, because their owner takes care of them and feeds them. When the student feels lonely, their dog can cheer them up and help prevent the student from feeling down.
Another advantage of having a dog on campus is the dog will allow the student to exercise everyday. Exercise is another way to relieve stress. College students are not getting enough physical activity, because this current generation is glued to their electronics. By owning a dog, a student would spend more time exercising, rather than wasting time watching Netflix or playing video games in their dorms.
I understand dogs are not for everyone. Some people do not want dogs in their dorms because they have allergies, cleanliness issues, and dislike loud noises such as barking. There is a solution to this problem that some universities have created on their campus. These campuses, such as Eckerd College in Florida, have created pet friendly dorms for their students. By having pet friendly dorms, people who love animals can all be in one dorm. Other dorms, would allow people who dislike dogs or have allergies to live without problems to their health or studying environment.
I am not saying anyone and everyone should have a dog. Pet ownership is a privilege and a choice. The student has to register the pet along with agree to the duties that come with taking care of an dog. Eckerd College on their website states, “Eckerd College is unique in allowing resident students to have pets on campus. The future of the pet privilege rests on the successful administration of the policy and the willingness of students to abide by, and enforce, the policy.” If these rules are not followed, Eckerd College and other universities have the right to revoke someone’s rights.
Dogs on campus would improve the campus community. Students who choose to have a dog would be less stressed, less lonely, and more active with daily exercise. All of these factors are what college students need to achieve and excel.