Sunday, April 21, 2024

Campus debates pets over parents

Plattsburgh State students might be feeling homesick because they miss their family and friends. For some students, they might miss another companion: their pet.

Homesickness is about the transition: between two worlds that are displaced for the moment, according to an online article from Psychology Today. It stated that students get anxious leaving home and walking into the unknown.

Animals are not allowed on campus, unless they are aid animals such as guide dogs, animals used in clinics or as part of an academic program as stated on the PSUC website.

PSUC mental health counselor Allsun Ozyesil said she that there are some people who have close relationships with their pets more than other people.

“A lot of people are connected to animals in a way that helps them emotionally,” Ozyesil said. “If (students) were to value pets more than their parents, I would think that there’s a need being met whether it’s an emotional need or something like that.”

Pets combat feelings of loneliness by providing companionship, which can boost people’s overall mood and even bring a person joy and happiness, according to an Animal Planet article.
“If I could bring them here, they would be running around campus being messy little lovesters,” PSUC junior communications major Akel Martin said.

Martin said he would do anything for his two pitbulls, Tastee and Fisty, back at home. “I love my parents, don’t get me wrong but my pets, oh my God. No matter how mad I am, I can just vent to her (dog),” Martin said.

PSUC senior communications major Krissy Canova has a few pets back home and a yellow Labrador Retriever mix, Rex, living with her while she attends school. Canova also had a hamster since November of 2015 but it had died recently.

“We used to call him the practice puppy before we got the puppy because that was me and my boyfriend’s first pet together,” she said. “So I always was very attached to him.”

Canova has a bearded dragon and a pet bird at home, but does not really miss them as much as she would miss Rex.

“I never really felt a connection with the bearded dragon because it was always so scaly and slimy-looking, so I never wanted to go near it,” she said. “Not to mention that it eats crickets, so whenever I would be in the same room as it, I would just keep hearing crickets and it would just drive me insane. And the bird just screams at the top of its lungs all day so I don’t miss him at all.”

She said she misses her parents more than her pets.

“For some people, having animal companionship is an important factor in their emotional and mental health,” Lucier stated. “For others, it’s just something that they truly enjoy and that makes them happy.”

However, to PSUC junior English writing arts and literature major Pakin Srijinda said he misses his dog, but he’s glad he has a home with Srijinda’s mother he prefers for his pet to stay at home where his mother is.

“I’m really busy on campus, so I won’t be around him very much,” Srijinda said. “So I will be scared that he will be alone and he won’t have anyone to play with, so it’s better that he’s with my mom right now.”

For students on campus who are missing their pets at home and feel for a connection with an animal, Ozyesil encourages PSUC students to join the Clinton County Canine Club, where volunteers bring local therapy dogs to student dorms twice a semester.

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