How different would your college experience have been had you been able to have your pet live with you in the dorm?

I am guessing that, with the responsibility that comes with a pet, either students would be partying just a little less or animals would be slightly neglected.

Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux is about to find out.

According to, Nicholls State University is the first public university in the state of Louisiana to allow students to have their pets live with them in their dorm rooms.

A page on the Ohio State University's website talks about the health benefits of living with a pet.

In addition to helping with feelings of loneliness, studies in the field of Anthrozoology show that living with a pet can reduce levels of stress. If you've ever had a frat party to attend on Thursday evening and a Statistics final on Friday morning, you know about stress. (And probably regret, too.)

From the OSU website: Controlled research in this discipline (Anthrozoology) has proved that owning a pet can:

  • Buffer stress
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Give social support
  • Help you stay in shape
  • Prevent certain sicknesses
Amy Domec Simon
Amy Domec Simon

Living healthier probably isn't top-of-mind for the average college student, but the loneliness angle can be a big draw for students, especially those from out of the area. Having a family pet 24/7 can help ease the homesickness, I'm sure.

Also, having to take care of a pet can help students develop a higher level of responsibility. reports that the Nicholls State University dormitories where the students are allowed to have pets (it's only a handful) feature a rear porch that opens to a green space that is fully fenced. This allows students to have a safe, secure place to walk their dogs, allow them to socialize and do whatever else dogs do in green spaces.


As it stands, according to the story, there are only 10 dorm rooms that allow pets, and only returning sophomores, juniors, and seniors are allowed to participate in the program.

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