Things To Know Before
Bringing A Pet To College
One of the hardest parts of starting college is the prospect of saying goodbye to family and friends. The move isn't permanent, but it can feel that way. For pet owners, farewells are even more difficult, making some wonder whether it's a good idea to take a pet along for the ride instead of leaving them on the round area rug at home. If you're on the fence about taking a pet to college or wondering what issues may arise, review these must-know tips before you decide.
Hoops For Hopping
Policies on pets are specific to each institution. Any basic inquiry will tell you everything you need to know, but be aware that while there are usually overarching policies on pet ownership, some schools may provide different options or grant privileges. For example, there might be a certain residence hall on campus that caters to pets while other halls don't. The privilege could be reserved for upperclassmen or simply be discouraged initially to prevent the majority from taking advantage.
Exceptions And Etiquette
Accommodations are made for students who use service animals for alleviating a disability or assisting with therapy. Some universities even participate in nonprofit organizations that allow students to help train service animals on campus. It's important to keep in mind that an animal like a Seeing Eye dog has an important job to do. If you encounter one on campus, treat it with respect. Don't attempt to interact with it or allow your own pet to distract it from its duty.
If you're new to college, you're likely to get paired up with some new roommates. If you are eligible to bring a pet, it's necessary to get the consent of all roommates to get your application approved. On the other hand, if you're not comfortable with one of your roommates having a pet, it's good to know you have the power to say no or request a room change. Sometimes these transitions take some time to process. Make sure you iron out the details as soon as you can to avoid hiccups.
Once your pet is on campus, it's your responsibility. No exceptions. Any damage done to the residence hall, on campus, or involving other students also is your responsibility. The colleges that allow pets treat it as a special privilege. You should too. Remember that while having a pet on campus can be a great experience, it can also cause some problems that you might not to anticipate. Consider how bringing a pet to college will affect the people around you.
The Social Situation
Bringing your pet to college can be great in the beginning, but it's important to be honest about your motivation for doing so in the first place. Having your pet with you may soothe what can be a difficult transition and alleviate homesickness. Yet, as you shake off your social inhibitions, start to meet new people and adapt to the environment, you may start to resent the pet you've brought because of the responsibility it demands. This can take a toll on your pet. It isn't fair to you, either. If you do bring your pet to college, make sure it's a priority for the entire time you're there. The last thing you want to do is send your pet home in the middle of the year.