|This not Stoney or Squirt, but a third hamster I had after college.|
A recent PetSide article said more colleges are creating pet-friendly dorms because they are seeing how having your furry friend with you can help alleviate anxiety.
I couldn’t help but laugh, and feel confident enough that I’m far-enough out of college that I can share why this was my reaction.
Other than a small fish tank, we weren’t allowed to have pets at my college.
So, of course I pushed the limit with my 10 gallon fish tank freshman year. But, that wasn’t enough. We lived in a suite – two people in each of the three rooms and a common area. One of my suitemates had a hamster, so when one of my radio co-hosts offered me a baby hamster I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
And, while I loved Stoney to death, he certainly didn’t alleviate anxiety – as a matter of fact he was a source.
See, not only did we have room inspections (I think they were monthly), but we also shared the suite with a RA — resident assistant You know, the person employed by the college who is responsible to making sure we adhere to the rules and don’t have anything in our dorm rooms we weren’t supposed to.
The poor thing traveled with me when I would go home on weekend and during the week when I’d go see my then boyfriend because I was too afraid someone would find him and take him away while I was gone. In the end, I believe he ended up living at my then boyfriend’s house.
From then on out I had a variety of fish, and was good (minus a baby snapping turtle we had for about a day) until my senior year of college, when I was going through a rough few days, was in a pet store and just happened to see the most adorable golden hamster ever. I picked her up and just couldn’t put her down. And, that’s how Squirt became a fixture in my apartment, and although illegal, my major stress reducer senior year.
Kudos to those colleges allowing pets!
For someone who has a furry friend at home and must leave them they go away, it has to be heartbreaking. The opportunity to bring a piece of home with them to college would be very beneficial and absolutely outweigh the negative.