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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: An introvert’s best friend

Photo by Karis Olsen

Students talk with their dogs at University Dog Park on Park Road. 

College Station, we have a problem: Extreme levels of utter swag have been detected all throughout the city.

The culprit? My absolute stunner of a schnauzer, Levi.

It’s no secret that your first year of college can be pretty rough — mine definitely was. With an unfamiliar campus, daunting classes with hundreds of people and no idea how to take care of yourself, it’s no wonder 44% of college freshmen reported feeling symptoms of depression just this last academic year.

It sure is a rude awakening to get home from classes starving only to have undercooked pasta and chicken as your menu options.

On top of my embarrassing inability to cook anything other than Dino Nuggets, socializing during class and partying on the weekend was a nightmare for my deeply introverted self. So, after a painfully lonely first semester, I resolved to bring my dog from home back with me to my new apartment.

It is singularly the best decision I’ve ever made.

Where I would go days without any human interaction before, now I can’t even use my apartment elevator without the inevitable gasp followed by: “OMG he’s so cute! Can I pet him?”

Levi’s trips to his luxurious outdoor bathroom have turned into his hourly celebrity-running-from-paparazzi escapades, of which he ensures he is always the star. And by extension, so am I.

Because the omg-what’s-his-names inevitably turned into omg-what’s-your-name, I soon found myself being recognized at school and random club events by countless neighbors who love Levi.

In fact, when I bring Levi into the apartment, “study bubbles” people have passed by and actually backtracked to ask if they can pet him. Even my boyfriend can’t take him outside for me without someone asking where his mom is.

But forced socializing isn’t the only thing I get out of Levi’s struts down the hall. Just last night, some girl on her way to a party thought Levi was so cute that she straight-up gave me a free bundt cake. An entire bundt cake. It was divine.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that you meet random people all the time on campus — what do you need a pet to do that for?

While it’s true you’re definitely going to meet countless new people during and in between classes, odds are you’re never going to see them again.

However, having a pet allows for continuous interaction otherwise not guaranteed in a large campus environment, and creates opportunities for meaningful connections other than the endless what’s-your-major spiels that you’ll have plenty of the rest of your college career.

In fact, the most special relationships I’ve made were when Levi had diarrhea.

On my second night back in College Station, Levi’s stomach was having difficulty getting used to the different water. So, when Levi let out the most horrendously rancid gas at midnight, I knew I immediately had to take him outside. Much to my surprise, there were at least six other dogs already there who instantly ran up to Levi and gave him the biggest welcome.

Within the next 20 minutes I had learned about the husky owner’s boyfriend troubles, the schnauzer owner’s drama with her roommates and was even added to the apartment dog GroupMe.

While Levi runs around with his new friends, I get to meet super cool people and form new friendships. It’s been crazy to see how so many of these owners have ended up being in the same classes and clubs as me. Not to mention, we all have our precious furry friends to bond over.

I brought Levi with me to college thinking he was going to be my only friend. Now, I have more friends than I’ve had in my entire life.

Oh, and of course endless cute dog bragging rights.

Isabella Garcia is an economics sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Garcia
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer
Isabella Garcia is an Economics sophomore from San Antonio, Texas and has been an opinion writer for The Battalion since June 2023. After graduation, Isabella intends to earn a J.D. and pursue a career in corporate law.
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