The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
The Importance of Supporting Engineering Education
The Importance of Supporting Engineering Education
February 20, 2024

In today's era of information technology, engineering plays the role of a vanguard, trying to optimize processes and develop new products, making...

Rhoads: Find solace in your roommate’s pet

Rhoads%3A+Find+solace+in+your+roommates+pet
Collegian | Kathryn Pakiz

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Living with a roommate is challenging. Maybe they are messy or always blasting music until the early morning hours, but what if they have a pet?

Ad

I was worried about moving in with an animal, but my mental health drastically improved because of it.

My roommate has two cats: Ham and Luna. Ham and I have grown close over the year that I’ve lived with my roommate, but we will have to separate this coming January. Ham takes naps with me and is a huge source of comfort after a long day. I’ve watched him go from being an obese, 25-pound rescue to a slim and trim tomcat. I feel a responsibility for his well-being even though he isn’t mine.

No one talks about how difficult it is to move from place to place throughout college; we have such little stability during this period of our lives. We build these relationships with our roommates and their pets who we might never see again after parting ways.

Rates of depression and anxiety are at an all-time high for college students. Living with a pet has proven to alleviate symptoms of depression, with 74% of pet owners reporting improved mental health with a furry friend, according to WebMD.

Yes, sometimes it’s horrible being woken up by meowing every morning, but Ham has been there for me after I bomb tests or when I miss my family. Many other college students could benefit from animal companionship, even if it’s through a roommate’s pet.

Maddie Corkery, a Colorado State University student, lived with a tuxedo cat named Ivy during her first year in college. The cat belonged to her suitemate, but Corkery developed a close relationship with Ivy.

“It’s already bittersweet leaving your first dorm, but I also had to say goodbye to Ivy,” Corkery said. “I cried for a long time before shutting that door.”

Ivy was there when the dorms were empty, and Corkery was all alone; she said Ivy was a huge source of comfort for her over the course of her first year away from home.

Amy Canevallo, a psychological science professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, said living with a roommate who has pets can bring the human roommates closer as well.

Ad

Walking a dog or playing with a cat can be an excellent activity for roommates who don’t yet know each other. It can provide bonding opportunities and benefit all parties. According to News in Health, playing with an animal can decrease cortisol levels, a stress hormone.

I’ve already shed tears over leaving my roommate’s cat, and we haven’t said goodbye yet. It’s like a breakup, except you’re the one getting broken up with. We get so attached to the animals in our lives, and they provide comfort to everyone around them.

It may not be for everyone, but in my opinion, having a pet is a great addition to the college experience.

Reach Darien Rhoads at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @DarienRhoads.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting Collegian.com!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *