Tufts Uses Dogs to Cure Finals Stress
I have two dogs: a pug and a miniature pinscher. Nothing seems to cheer me up more than when I come home from school, or work, and find them excitedly awaiting my presence. They wag their tails and immediately beg for my a attention. Something about the way they lick my chin and demand to be petted makes me forget about all of the day’s stressors.
So, it’s no surprise to me that Tufts University is using dogs to ease exam woes on campus. The school brought in therapy dogs on Tuesday for students to have some stress-free time, amid the most stressful time of year: finals week.
“Every college student has stress around finals,” said resident director Michael Bliss, who came up with the idea of dog visits. “And taking a break out from that with something as easy and simple and loving as petting dogs is really helpful.”
Tufts University isn’t the only school using therapy dogs as stress-relieving activities. Bliss wanted to bring the dogs to campus after he participated in a similar program as an undergraduate at New York University.
Though therapy dogs are traditionally used to cheer up the elderly and the sick, more and more schools are bringing them in as stress reducers for students. Administrators are finding innovative ways to get students to come to these stress-busting events. Events like hosting laser tag or offering free massages are giving students a break from all their cramming.
“College students are very stressed at this point of the year, and some are playing catch-up,” said Brian Van Brunt, president of the American College Counseling Association. “Going to events like these allows students to clear the brain and press the reset button.”
Nineteen-year-old Chloe Wong, a freshman at Tufts, hopes that the therapy dogs will help press her reset button. She seemed to enjoy petting one Australian shepherd therapy dog.
She said “I hope these puppies make me happy and give me a nice break between studying … just cut the studying a little bit.”
via Huffington Post