Colleges Offer Ways To De-Stress During Exams

Compiled By Yaffa Klugerman
December 29, 2009

When students hit the books this month to study for year-end finals, colleges and universities offered ways to relieve the stress.

U.S. News & World Report notes that many institutions arranged special activities during exam week in an effort to keep students calm. At Bentley University in Massachusetts, for example, more than 800 students gathered for the school's 37th biannual Breakfast by Moonlight earlier this month, raising $2,500 for a local charity. The school, like many others, had faculty and staff serve "midnight breakfasts" to students late at night. The event's theme at Bentley was Nickelodeon, and students were told to dress up as characters from the television network's shows.

"These activities help bring people together and slow down things," explained Marc Santilli, a junior who was quoted by U.S. News, "and they take your mind off the tests."

According to U.S. News, Bentley also offered special fitness classes during exam week and even allowed students to paint large canvases to be hung at the campus fitness center--all to help students de-stress. At the University of Dayton in Ohio, meanwhile, students could take part playing Simon Says or Red Light-Green Light at the student union late at night. And at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, students could peruse the Stall Seat Journal--found on the backs of bathroom stall doors--which offered tips on how to deal with stress.

Earlier this month at California's Chapman University, 10 puppies were stationed outside of the library during study week for students to hold and cuddle, reports the Los Angeles Times. The event was called "Furry Friends for Finals," and was organized by the school's Active Minds club, which promotes mental awareness.

"It has been proven that having a dog helps relieve stress, so we thought it would be a cute idea if we brought some furry friends on campus," said Jennifer Heinz, a sophomore who helped organize the event and was interviewed by the LA Times. "It's a nice way to step back from reality and just be stress-free for a moment," she added.

At Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., students were given the opportunity to relieve stress through meditation, reports The Washington Post. Similar classes are regularly offered at the University of Maryland at College Park and in Baltimore County.

"It has taught me the skill of stepping back," said Bradley Pollina, a senior history major at Georgetown who started meditating a year ago. "You teach yourself to slow down."

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