Wouldn’t it be so much easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel during finals week if you had a cuddly kitten or puppy to play with?
Colleges across the country are partnering with nonprofit organizations and abused animal shelters to bring stress relief to students during those last delirious hours before final exams.
Animal therapy programs provide an area, usually the library, for students to take time out from cramming for finals to play with loving animals.
Yale Law School, University of California Irvine, Occidental College, University of Tennessee and Western Washington University are just a handful of the schools that have benefited from this creative and effective stress relief partnerships.
I think that Linfield should be the next college added to this list to experience this therapy program.
Not only would we benefit from the animals, the animals would benefit from us. Many of the organizations bring animals from shelters who do not get near enough attention, so bringing them onto a college campus filled with students who are restricted from having pets in their dorm rooms and apartment buildings would most likely result in a lot of attention.
Basically, it’s a win-win deal for students and the animals.
Indicators of stress are heart rate and blood pressure. Studies have shown animals are successful stress relievers for people conducting stressful tasks, such as taking finals, even more effective than friends and significant others.
And definitely more effective than pancakes and cookies that the school provides during the weeks of finals.
Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious and convenient, but also promote even more late night stress eating than is necessary.
The animals who participate in these therapy programs for college students have met certain standards, which include comfortableness and outgoingness around strangers, enjoyment of being petted and obedience. Animals in these programs are required to pass tests before beginning therapy services.
I don’t know about you, but I am in no way ready to rely on Linfield’s overpopulation of squirrels for stress relief during finals. I would much rather have a cute dog or cat to play with.
Sarah Mason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.