pets

Missing their furry friends

For some college students, one of the hardest things about going away to college is missing their animals. From dogs and cats to horses and goats, our furry companions provide us with love, devotion, humor and friendship. It can be hard for students to fill that void while they are away from home.

What You Can Do

Recognizing the struggle your student may be facing means that you are validating his or her feelings. Just allowing them to talk about their feelings without acting like they are dumb or strange will help them work through this aspect of being homesick.

You can also keep your student connected with their animals. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Send a postcard or an e-card each week from the animal to your student. Head to a website such as www.smilebox.com for a free resource to create these cards and lots more including slideshows and scrapbooks that you can send online or through the mail.
  • Facebook offers free applications called “Dogbook,” “Catbook,” “Horsebook” and even “Ferretbook” (plus others too). You can use these applications to create a profile for your favorite animal. Once you’ve created it, your “animal” can post messages, share photos, friend others and more. This is a great way for your student to stay in touch with their pet.
  • If you are close enough and the animal is small enough, surprise your student with a visit. You may not be able to bring the animal into the residence hall, but outside on campus grounds or a local park could work.
  • Text new pictures of the animal each week or post them on Instagram so your student can see the latest and greatest.
  • If the animal will cooperate, get a print of its paw (or hoof or foot) using washable paint. Put its name and the date on it. Then, frame it and send it to your student as a keepsake.

Missing one’s pets can be tough on students, especially if there aren’t any other animals on campus. Help fill the void with creative expressions of endearment and connections from afar!

Prepared for Trine University by PaperClip Communications