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    I suffer from anxiety and depression, and during exam time I adopted two guinea pigs thinking that the company would lift my mood. It did. In fact, I'd say that getting Ollie and Elliot has improved my life more than therapy or drugs. I am still on the medication and will be for some time but I strongly feel that if it were not for the fact that I now have my guinea pigs to look after I would have made another attempt on my life by now.

    Earlier on in the year I applied to Leeds uni and got a conditional offer. I have chosen my halls of residence etc. Even though I am not sure I am ready to go to uni this year, everything is in place if I do choose to go. The trouble is, I am aware that halls of residence do not allow students to keep pets. It might sound silly and pathetic to some people, but without my guinea pigs I don't think I would be able to cope. It's almost like they are an unofficial part of my treatment.

    I know that there isn't really a solution to my problem, but does anybody have any advice? Maybe somebody in a similiar position?
    Thanks in advance.
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    Even in your circumstances I highly doubt you would be allowed to keep them, I have heard of people keeping small animals unofficially but I wouldn't recommend this. Not really much I can suggest except if they are such a big part of your life that you could look for private accommodation that would accept them.
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    Hmm... That does sound very serious, serious enough for you to be given special permission, in my opinion at least. Have you tried talking to the University about this matter? Perhaps it would be worth double checking to see if they would allow you to keep them. I think you really should be allowed to take them with you.

    At least after the second year, you could move out of halls, and you could keep pets no problem. So... at least there's a light at the end of the first year tunnel, right? Don't give up!
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    Get a webcam for them, my mom did that with the chickens at the bottom of the garden, it was called 'chook-cam'


    but yeah, speak to the Uni, hopefully they should understand. If not maybe like a nearby petting zoo or something so you could go visit them and other people could be cheered up by them too
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    Halls don't allow pets. One of the reasons my friend and I chose private student housing is because I have an aquarium and she has rats...we'd miss them otherwise. Even we wouldn't be allowed cats or dogs though :-p
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    In my rented house last year my housemates had a couple of hamsters and will this year have a rabbit, with the permission of our landlord. In his words - "as long as it's in a cage....."
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    i go to college in the city centre of manchester and pass 100s of halls on my way in and alot of them clearly have hamsters etc but as a person who keeps guineapigs you are being very very cruel keeping them in such a small space with no outside access, they are not as small as hamsters and require hutches which, if in nearly all rooms at unis would not fit
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    my friend had a bunny, her flat were all safe about it and it just bopped about the kitchen and chilled....but she was in proper lax halls
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    uni halls get really funny on this, i won't recommend it, and most uni's will say no, you can try and ask the uni and tell them about your circumstances
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    You could ask, but it's extremely unlikely they'd agree.

    If having regular contact with animals has been beneficial, are there other ways you could get that, though? For example, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter, or something like that - you'd be able to get the benefit of having animals as part of your life (plus it would look good on your CV).

    The alternative would be to look for other accommodation, but you might find that would be a less supportive environment for your first year than living in halls would be, so you should probably think it through before making a final decision.
 
 
 

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