It’s time we all realise that having pets at uni isn’t ‘fun’, it’s stupid and cruel

A fresher filled his goldfish’s makeshift tank with wine and killed it

One thing nobody tells you about going away to university is how much you’ll miss your pets. Between this, and the new found independence, a lot of students get pets at uni. But a student house is no place for a pet.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen first years get a pet and end up killing it. Sometimes it was because they didn’t do their research, perhaps putting two hamsters together and having them inevitably killing each other. Or how many times people get a fish from the fair that ends up dying after a couple weeks.

I know one person – who’ll remain anonymous – got a fish and kept it in a pyrex dish, before getting drunk and replacing a lot of the fish’s water with wine. The poor fish, of course, died.

The thing is this isn’t even the worst sort of thing happens. A couple years ago a student drunkenly frying his housemate’s hamster. He was banned from keeping pets for eight years. You can be the most caring person in the world, but these sorts of things can still happen when living with other people.

Save the pets for when you visit home

Now the guy in question isn’t an idiot, or cruel, he was just a fresher who didn’t take looking after a fish seriously. It’s cringeworthy how many students put so little thought into getting a pet. A pet is not an impulse decision you make because you wandered into Pets at Home. A pet isn’t something you only see and feed in between lectures and nights out.

Not to mention the fact that you’re probably not allowed them anyway. If you’re in halls, the fact you have to hide your pets should tell you enough. Even in private houses, the chances are having pets is in breach of contract.

And what happens over the holidays? You going to stay at university with that pet? Or are you going to take it home to a completely unknown environment? Not to mention the cost. If they need treatment whilst you’ve barely got enough money to feed yourself, then are you really going to fork over the money for the treatment they need?

No place for a pet

I know a few people will be reading this and thinking to themselves that this doesn’t sound like them. Sure, some of you might take great care of your pets, and none of this will apply to you, but let’s be honest you’re in the minority.

The simple fact is that most students simply don’t have the time or necessary life skills. University is a time where a lot of people figure out things as simple as doing laundry or cooking for themselves – not developing the responsibility to care for another living being.

Animals take a lot of looking after and a stable home. Between the inevitable mess, the noise and the stress of various predrinks, they will not be getting the necessary care.

So if you’re missing your pets and thinking about getting one at university, just don’t. A student house is no place for an animal.

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Aberystwyth University