Leaving for college involves some difficult changes, and one of them can be separation from a beloved pet.
“If an animal is part of your entire life, and caring for them is a huge part of it, to take that away is pretty dramatic,” says Kimberly Brubaker.
If it’s a high enough priority, though, you might be able to find a way to stay together, as Brubaker did: She lives in a dorm with her cat Dino and ball python Mars at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Eckerd is not the only campus in the country that allows pets, but they may have been doing it the longest – since the early 1970s. While its pet policies are broadly accepting, it’s far from a free-for-all. Brubaker is president of a student organization that registers on-campus pets; oversees their well-being and students’ compliance with rules; and adjudicates problems.