CPP community shares their newly adopted pandemic pets and plants

By Ethereal Reyes, Feb. 2, 2021

COVID-19 has brought many challenges, prompting Cal Poly Pomona students and faculty to find new ways to reduce pandemic-related stress, including adopting plants and pets.

These hobbies have soared in popularity during the pandemic due to their emotional well-being benefits. A 2020 study from researchers at Princeton University found that gardening is one of the most advantageous activities to promote mental and emotional health. Similarly, a 2011 study by psychologists from Miami University and St. Louis University found that pet owners were likelier to be happier, less lonely, exercise regularly and have higher self-esteem.

Embracing the new normal, the CPP community shared the plants and pets that have changed their social distancing experience.

Francesca Evangelista │Second-year architecture student (Courtesy of Francesca Evangelista)

“During quarantine, I adopted two Fiddle-leaf fig plants and a few succulents. I was super happy with them because when I redid my room, they fit in very nicely. My mom already has plants all over the house which is nice because they are so beautiful. They really brighten up the space, which I appreciated when I was stuck at home quarantining. I would definitely recommend anyone to go out and get a plant, even if it is super small, just to have in your room and take care of!”





Alexa Ordonez | Fifth-year biology student (Courtesy of Alexa Ordonez)

“I adopted a puppy over quarantine. His name is Spidey, and he is 7, going on 8 months old. He is a ball of energy that is occasionally sassy but is super loving and sweet. I got him over summer and, since then, my time during quarantine has been a lot more bearable. He keeps me company, helps me stay active and, overall, just makes me happy. Hopefully when everything is safe again, he can meet other dogs and make friends!”





Cynthia Tran | Second-year architecture major (Courtesy of Cynthia Tran)

“During the pandemic, I decided to adopt the plants that are the easiest to take for which are pothos, the ZZ plant and the snake plant. They were all recommended to me by my friend, Ian Galang. I chose to adopt plants that were significant to my childhood like the peace lily. My grandparents used to grow these in their garden and give them to me when I was little. Tending to plants indirectly reminds me to take care of myself and the space around me. My plants are motivators to get up and start my day. I treat them like my babies, and it is fascinating to watch them grow like people do.”





Leanna Gan | Third-year art history student (Courtesy of Leanna Gan)

“The very first plant I purchased was a Heartleaf philodendron back in August. Now, I have 12 plants chilling in my room! Personally, getting into plant care has improved my quarantine because every time I care of them, I am reminded to take care of myself as well. It has also started to feed into other hobbies, such as cooking. I have recently planted some herbs like parsley, basil and rosemary to try and implement into my own dishes. I believe that owning plants and the process of plant care have helped calm me down during these anxious times and have helped boost my mood in general.”




Angelica Rivera | First-year manufacturing engineering student (Courtesy of Angelica Rivera)

“My sisters, mom and I adopted an unhealthy number of plants during quarantine. I gravitate toward Philodendrons, pothos and trailing succulents. Taking care of them and watching them grow by providing their specific needs helped us cope with quarantine. It gave me something to look forward to and gives me hope when I see a new leaf. Even though my life at home feels stagnant, my plants remind me that I am constantly growing by learning to take care of myself more and challenging my brain by tackling rigorous workloads.”





Anna Soper | Plant science assistant professor (Courtesy of Anna Soper)

“My husband and I adopted a Brittany puppy. His full name is Roquefort, but we call him Roke. We knew that being at home we would have a lot more time to commit to a puppy. I also walk regularly in the morning and I was looking for a companion. Roke is definitely a puppy and he chews on everything! He prefers remotes and shoes. Roke is a very cuddly boy and he loves going on walks. He keeps me on a schedule and is a companion for the kids who love to play with him every day. Roke is playful and adventurous and has made our quarantine a lot brighter.”





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