Picture this: You study all night long for your final the next morning. You go into the test, make a mad attempt to regurgitate all the information that you were supposed to have absorbed, finish right on time and are left feeling like someone just played kickball with your tired, weary brain.
As college students we know this feeling all too well. But what if there were a cure? Say, an unlimited supply of puppies?
How about punching bags hanging from trees on campus? Maybe an endless supply of bubble wrap or chocolate, like the good kind one would eat after a breakup, not Tootsie Rolls, as they are just a measly excuse for chocolate.
Since we are working so hard to slog through to the end of the semester, we feel that it would be only natural to have such things to help wrap up finals on a good note.
Many universities throughout the country have already begun affording their students such ways to alleviate all the pent-up anxiety caused by finals.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, offers access to trained therapy dogs to its students during finals week.
The school partners with an organization called Dog B.O.N.E.S. at the end of each semester to offer study breaks throughout the day during which students can play with the dogs, complete with free food and drinks.
Southern Oregon University has created a similar program called “Paws for Relaxation.”
Now wouldn’t that be a way to keep spirits up?
We thinks so, as studies going back to the 1980s show that dogs – and other animals alike – have been shown to improve the mental, social and physiological health status in humans.
The College of Charleston has taken this idea one step further with its “Cougar Countdown.”
They not only offer a “puppy room,” in which students can interact with puppies from local shelters, they also offer a pancake breakfast served up by the university president on finals days.
Plus, they stretch out a few dozen hammocks across the university for students to swing their worries away.
As if this weren’t already sounding like a perfect finals week, to top it off, they offer unlimited cupcakes and organize flash mobs to break out to upbeat, encouraging music.
While Baylor does offer a “Pancake Break” to students for one day during finals, if they were to widen the variety of activities there is no doubt that at least some students would be able take a step back and loosen up a bit in such a stressful time.
While we don’t want to promote goofing off during what is quite possibly the most important week of the year, it must also be understood that the majority of students are going to be staying up all night somewhere cramming for their next test.
We feel that if they are going to do so anyway, they might as well be offered ways to relax, which for some people amounts to stuffing their face with chocolate.
While we know that this is a lot to ask for all at once, we encourage Baylor to consider helping us out a bit.
Start with a puppy room.
It’s simple enough and can be a win-win for both students and shelters, as it’s very likely that some students won’t be able to leave without the pups.
Bubble wrap rooms would come next, followed by punching bags and hammocks.
All in all, these suggestions should be taken seriously, as they encompass a wide array of stress relievers that all students and faculty alike could take advantage of.
We feel like this would make our campus a much more all- around relaxed environment.