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Impact of Emotional Support Animals on College Students

Publish Date: August 30th, 2021; Publish By: ESA Letter Colorado Staff.
Impact of ESA on college students
The life of a college student is not as easy as it seems. During college days, a ton of day-to-day life problems surround students creating a burden on them. This burden can increase and worsen a student’s situation if they have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental disorder. Problems like stress, depression, and anxiety are prevalent and inevitable during college days. However, having an emotional support animal can help students relieve daily stress or depression by becoming emotionally intense.

Keeping a pet around for emotional health is a good idea. Still, the real question here is, Can a student bring an emotional support animal to a college campus? Every college authority is well aware of the fact that each pet or, let’s say, an emotional support animal loves their owner unconditionally. Still, their behaviour with everyone else is not the same as with their owner. That is why colleges tend to avoid bringing a pet on campus until or unless it becomes necessary.

Colleges do allow pets on campus, but only for those who genuinely need an assistance animal to help them with their emotional health. For this, they require students to prove their disability, which they can do by submitting a letter from a licensed mental health professional, commonly known as the ESA Letter. This letter is governed by the Fair Housing Act and section 504 of the rehabilitation act, which considers a college campus a dwelling unit. It requires a college to make reasonable accommodation for a student with an emotional support animal.

How can Emotional Support animals help a college student?

College life is one of the crucial stages of your life where you learn a lot. However, the college experience can become traumatic for you if you already have a psychological disorder. In that case, adopting Emotional Support can reduce your suffering.

Daily tasks can become difficult for you if you have any mental disorder. There are many types of Emotional Support animals, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, etc. These emotional support animals can help you focus on your studies better.

Along with your studies, Emotional Support animals can help you in many ways, some of them mentioned below:

Overcoming Home Nostalgia:

Moving out of the house is not easy for everyone, significantly if you grew up with over-caring parents. Even though it is normal to feel lonely for the first few days, your feeling of loneliness can cause other problems like anxiety or depression. You can adopt an emotional support animal. There is no better feeling than going back to your room and cuddling your pet. Their presence will always keep you engaged and will put all the lonely thoughts at bay.

Stress relief:

We understand that your daily college assignments and project deadlines can be stressful. If you are already a person with weak mental health, study pressure can further intensify your condition. With the company of an animal friend with your side, they can recharge you whenever you feel low. Going out on slow walks with your pet friend can also act as a stress reliever.

Fixing your routine:

An emotional Support Animal can change your life in several ways. Even during college days, we all sleep late and naturally wake up late too. That is why you must be facing a problem in getting regular 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Now, if you own a pet, you will have to follow your routine according to your emotional support dog or a cat. Animals prefer to wake up early, have their meals on time, and go to sleep on time that can maintain your schedule too.

Sense of responsibility:

Student life is considered chilled days. Partying, clubbing all sound amusing but excess of this can affect your studies. Bad grades and piling up on assignments can intensify your anxiety symptoms.
Now you must be thinking, how can an emotional support animal help you in this case? When you have to take care of a living organism, this will create a sense of responsibility. You will know that your pet’s survival depends on your survival, and it will generate a sense of duty in you.

Proper nutrition:

Proper nutrition is the supreme requirement for a student. As a growing teenager, you should adequately fuel your body to excel in physical and mental activities. However, if you have a mental disorder, you should take care of your nutrition as it directly affects mental health.
When you have an emotional support animal, you will have to care for your pets’ diet. It will naturally motivate you to take care of your diet too. As humans, don’t we prefer to eat in a company? A pet will always be there to accompany you while you will be eating.

Physical Fitness:

You must have heard that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. A person with a mental disorder can improve mental health by including physical activity in their routine. An Emotional Support animal can keep you physically active. Playing with your pets, taking them for a walk, exercising with them, giving them baths will be part of your daily routine. Hence, ESA can benefit you in maintaining your physical fitness too.


We know that parents want their children to excel and create a better future. To please our parents, we force ourselves with so much pressure. This can lead to mental health issues and even suicidal thoughts. But research has shown tremendous improvements in students who spend their time with emotional support pets. The Rehabilitation Act allows emotional support animals in colleges and universities that are indeed beneficial for college students. So you can apply for an emotional support animal letter to get your animal certified and bring your pet to college without any issues.


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