A lot of students with mental and physical health issues benefit from having an ESA that lives with them. A lot of misconceptions exist about ESAs, however. Aren’t they just pets? How can they actually help students?
College can be a difficult adjustment for a lot of people my age. We are often living away from home for the first time, having to adjust to classes, clubs and work. I know that I was incredibly overwhelmed when I first came to college. Something that has become increasingly popular is having an emotional support animal on campus.
I have a few answers for these questions. One, ESAs are not “just” pets. To have an emotional support animal, students must talk to a licensed medical professional and see if they will issue the paperwork to have an ESA.
For most people that simply want a pet on campus, this would dissuade them. Additionally, Shippensburg students must file the paperwork through the Office of Accessibility and Resources (OAR). This process is sometimes lengthy, but simple overall, and guarantees the reasons behind a student’s desire for an emotional support animal.
A review from Miami University shows that pets can benefit the lives of their owners, both psychologically and physically. They can serve as an important source of social support, which plays a critical role in stress, illness
, and mortality.
As someone who has lived with an ESA, I can attest to the benefits. After a long day of classes and work, I am often exhausted; but when I come back to my dorm, I know that there’s a cat waiting there for me.
As many college students experience mental health struggles, emotional support animals are a great way to provide support to students that may need it.