Best Stress Reliever: A Pet…

A quick article on the benefits of having a pet (for high-school students).


A kitten “helping” with studying.

Francesca Macomber, Staff Writer

I’m sure you’ve thought of it before. I’m sure you’ve been declined before. I’m sure you’ve moped on it, too. I’m sure, despite it all, you’ve daydreamed of the splendor that it is to own a pet… Sure, the statement can easily be made on how perfect pets are in terms of relieving stress, but it is highly unlikely that those who saunter up to parents with this daring request can truly quote any concrete benefits. However, according to the website “How Stuff Works”, pets not only decrease toxic chemicals such as cortisol, which is a prominent cause of anxiety and depression, but also increase chemicals associated with the emotion we may know as…well, happiness. Though, the latter could easily be proved without facts to back it up. 

Being a high-school student is challenging, especially for juniors, who endure the stress of the SAT, ACT, acquiring the perfect GPA, and not to mention the countless hours of studying that contribute to achieving perfect scores on such items. Stress grows and shifts, first becoming a nuisance, at best, then extending to an overbearing presence that finds a constant home in the depths of our thoughts. Sometimes it can feel as though there is no escape, and that the only light at the end of the tunnel- graduation, or even a successful career- is much too far to be used as helpful motivation or even a beacon of hope. 

I can say with confidence, though, that pets are a worthy source of motivation, and a welcome de-stresser. Recently, I adopted a four-month old kitten, who has proved to be just that. School, and it’s backbreaking demands, make it so that even the prospect of returning home barely incites any excitement. The thought, though, of having a fuzzy friend waiting beyond my door is one that makes the day easier to bear, as well as making the hours of grueling homework seem less cruel and impossible. 

Yes, parents may argue that on top of all this work and sleep-deprivation, the maintenance of a pet would only counteract your efforts to prevent stress. However, the effort I put into loving my per, and the care that I provide for them of my own accord has never been too much to handle, and it takes too barely any time away from the hours I spend dedicated to schoolwork.

Truly, I, along with many professionals, recommend a pet for stress-relief and for mental-health benefits. Those looking to persuade parents should perhaps take an approach that argues for the well-being of our brains. It is still an organ, after all. Who knows? You may be surprised!

Good luck out there!