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To be a party animal in college or to adopt one By: Sabrina Smith

You're finally out on your own. You have a place, a routine, and a life curated to fulfill no one else's needs but your own. College is about getting an education, sure, but for many, it's also a final stepping stone before adulthood really begins. Is it the best time to adopt an animal? Here are a few things to consider:


Adopting an animal is expensive. The upfront cost alone is hefty: adoption fees, scratching posts, fish tank heaters, and more. Then, there's monthly expenses like food, litter, pet insurance, and poop bags! Another absolute must is having money saved up in case of an emergency. You'd better prepare for eaten hair ties and your food being licked when you're not looking. One call to the pet poison control line is $89; never mind the vet bill that comes after!


Do you know who you'll be living with next year? Do you know where? What about the year after that? What about fifteen years from now? You don't need to have every little detail perfectly planned out, but you do need to have a pretty good idea. Will you be able to afford that extra pet rent every month in a few years? Will you be living somewhere you can take your dog/minihorse/axolotl for a walk?


Adopting an animal means that there will be an entire other being completely dependent on you and your care. College is a time where you are in charge of your own life like never before. Take some time to relish in these new tastes of freedom before you add something new to your plate. Make sure that you can take care of yourself and handle what life throws at you before you add someone new to take care of, and what they might throw at (or up) on you.

I adopted Oatmilk, my beloved domestic shorthair just two short months ago. I had wanted to adopt an animal for quite some time before. I waited until I had enough money for the upfront costs and a stable job to ensure I would be able to provide for him. I have a fairly stable plan for these next few phases of my life planned out. The wiggle room that I do have accounts for him. I am committed to my sweet little boy, even when that means I have to get home earlier than I'd like to feed him dinner on time or forgo that weekend away. I have zero regrets about bringing him into my life, and it is because I prepared myself for the commitment, financially, in terms of time, and in my mindset.

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