The idea of homesickness is not foreign to college freshmen like myself. We are told from the beginning to be prepared to miss our families, friends, beds, and showers. There are some things I miss about home and it is true that the college environment takes some getting used to. However, when I talk to my friends about homesickness, I notice one common theme. My peers don’t talk about missing home-cooked meals or their childhood bedrooms—they miss their pets.

When I sit in the lounge around people cramming for tests, they are complaining about how they miss their dog/cat/bearded dragon and not about how they miss their parents. They vocalize how much they miss coming home to see their dogs instead of an empty dorm room, or how they wish they could smuggle their guinea pigs back to school with them. I even find myself thinking very similar thoughts when I am particularly stressed. So what does a pet provide that people cannot? Continue reading