One of the biggest appeals of Stephens is its pet friendly factor. We were even ranked number one most pet friendly campus on dogster.com. I recently worked on a project closely with admissions where I learned that the allowance of pets is one of the top reasons high school seniors even apply.
I’ll admit, freshman year I was intrigued by this aspect and really wanted to bring my own pup along. My mom wouldn’t let me. When I look around campus now, I thank her.
There are entirely too many pets inhabiting Stephens College.
It’s out of control. I’m suspicious that students are bringing their furry friends along just because they can. I understand that it is hard to leave your pet. Nobody loves you like Fido. I get it.
Is it really fair to your pet to leave him or her locked in your tiny dorm room, missing you while you’re off taking 15-18 credit hours a week on top of your social life? They can’t even be off of their leashes when they are outside of said room. College life is not the life for animals.
The dogs get so excited when they finally do get to go outside that they’re often pulling every which way, barking and disturbing everyone around them. Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean the residents aren’t still annoyed by all that noise.
And let’s not forget that you must be sure to pick up the poop! In past years, when students do not pick up after their animals, pet owners are required to participate in mandatory poop pick-up parties. Sounds like a ton of fun, right? With the abundance of pets we have now, this rule is more important than ever.
Don’t get me wrong – plenty of women here take great care of their pets and have found some way to balance it all. Those are the types of students that Stephens has the pet program for.
On the other hand, if you are bringing a pet along for this wild ride just because it is allowed, maybe you should stick to weekend visitation. College is a lot of hard work, and it is very time consuming, especially as a freshman.
Freshmen are on their own for the first time and need time to acclimate themselves. This process is much harder with an anxious pet trying to find his or her bearings as well.
If you brought your pet along because you were afraid you’d get lonely and you knew they’d be there to keep you company, this still isn’t a good enough reason. I even have an alternative solution for this: fostering. Stephens partners with Columbia Second Chance, allowing students to foster pets. This way you can stop having a pet if you get too overwhelmed.
So if your pet is already here or you’re thinking about bringing one, I ask you to think again. Do you have the time? Are you responsible enough? Are you committed? Do you go home enough that you can manage without?
Remember the decision to bring a pet to campus affects more than just yourself.
Story by junior Hailey Johnson