College students desperately need a source of positivity to take their minds off of the whirlwind of college. Most schools let students keep fish and potted plants in their dorm rooms. This can improve your college experience. Dorms may feel small, but a colorful fish or live flowers bring life to your tiny room. Taking care of a pet or plant fosters responsibility which brings the pride and affection we all need in our daily lives. A fear of time commitments required for a pet or plant shouldn’t make you miss out on all the emotional benefits of keeping a living college companion other than your irritating roommate.
By far the best fish for college students, betta fish perfectly cater to college students due to their availability, appearance, low cost and easy care. Bettas come a range of colors including deep reds bright blues, vibrant greens, royal purple or bright yellows. Students can also purchase these fish quite easily, as a single betta usually costs less than $10. Be sure to buy bettas from the right place, though: bettas from dedicated pet stores usually live longer than fish from Walmart.
As for tank, consider a gallon and a half-sized container, which should fit comfortably in your cramped dorm room. Ensure that you keep only one betta per tank; multiple fish can fight and kill each other. You can also take creative liberties with the tank. For example, covering the bottom of a tank with smooth pebbles or including a plastic fish castle adds a decorative touch to your fish’s tank.
While most fish need an expensive filter system that circulates oxygen throughout their tank, bettas can thrive in unfiltered standing water. You can easily keep your betta in tap water in a household glass bowl. As for food, students can purchase cheap brands of betta fish food available online. Just ensure that the food contains about 32 percent protein. Feed your betta fish at most four pellets of food daily.
Owning a betta fish also requires cleaning its tank about every two weeks or if the water starts clouding. Held a net under the bowl, slowly pour the water out until your fish falls into the net and then move your fish to a new bowl filled with clean water, waiting about 20 minutes for the water to reach room temperature. Cleaning typically takes about 20 minutes, a short time commitment that surely won’t interfere with academics.
Cacti and Peace Lilies
If you cannot sustain a fish, perhaps a potted plant will suffice. Succulents, for example, serves as the perfect plant for college students due to their trendiness and low maintenance requirements.
Cacti come in all sizes and colors and many have flowers. Garden stores carry many cactus species, so paying a visit to Lowes’ garden section or the local greenhouse should help you find a decorative succulent. If you’re not sold on cacti, peace lilies, with their dark green leaves and plush white flowers serve as a more traditional potted plant. You can find peace lilies at your local garden store or plant nursery as well.
When searching for your decorative plant, ensure that you purchase it from a location devoted to plant care and that you purchase a healthy plant. Your cacti should have shiny, slightly waxy leaves and perky stances. If a cactus is losing leaves, slumping, or covered in black spots or white fuzz, it’s dying. As for peace lilies, if the leaves have holes in them or are browning and falling, avoid that particular plant.
Once you have a nice plant, you’ll probably want to put it in a good pot. Any type of pot will do, although the best pots have holes in the bottom for drainage. Peace lilies need a pot large enough to leave a few inches from the plant to the edge of the pot, which will let the lily grow. Cacti fit into more cramped pots. Once you’ve selected the pot you want, cover the bottom of the pot with gravel, as the rocks will help with drainage. Then start adding soil, making sure to completely bury the roots of your plant.
Once you have your plant situated in its pot, place the pot on a windowsill so your plant absorbs plenty of light. You’ll also need to ensure that you water your plant appropriately. Although the plants do not need much water, make sure all the water absorbs into the soil—you don’t want to drown your plant, do you?
Owning a small pet or plant can add a stroke of positivity during otherwise stressful times, while still allowing students to practice responsibility. Consider adopting one of these stress relievers, remembering both their necessities and benefits. Perhaps you will find college more enjoyable with one of these interactive decorations.