Miniature Horses and Bubble Walls: Outrageous New Ways College Kids Handle Exam Stress

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 8:39 pm, December 3, 2016

For today’s fragile college students, final exams aren’t just stressful—they’re also emotionally debilitating.

So as finals season begins, universities across the nation have scheduled events to help students cope with study stress. Here are the most over-the-top, coddling finals events we could find.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean—in a pool

The University of Mary Washington offered a study break this weekend where students could float in the school pool while watching Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley engage in pirate exploits.

A marshmallow spaghetti tower

We have no idea, but Shoreline Community College does.

Therapy dogs

“Do finals have you feeling like you’re the underdog? Well, we have the solution that should put you back at the top of the pack: Therapy dogs are back!” the University of Colorado at Boulder announced.

The event describes the dogs as “very calm, obedient, and most of all, [they] love to be petted.” In case finals have you feeling like an idiot, the university also added: “Please do not pet the humans.”

CU-Boulder is far from alone. We found more than a dozen other universities bringing in therapy cats and dogs during finals week.

Miniature horses

Not to be outdone by universities with mere therapy dogs, Northwestern University is bringing in miniature therapy horses. “They’re cute, they’re fuzzy, they’re mini, and they’re comforting. Miniature horses are the best way to relieve finals stress!” the university proclaimed.

If that’s not enough, Northwestern students who need a break from studying can also play with lego sets, coloring books and play dough.

Bubble wrap

Wichita State University’s OneStop Student Services is assembling a bubble-wrap wall, where students can “take out your finals frustrations.”

WSU will also offer personalized snow globe crafting for snowflake students. And there’s even a “finals fiesta” where students can pick up free tacos on the way to class. (Bonus: You can probably be first to call that event problematic and appropriative.)

A balloon ball pit

And the University of Nebraska-Omaha isn’t offering just any old ball pit, either.

Students are invited to “enter into a sensory stimulating room where you can listen to calming sounds, float in a sea of balloons and meditate.”

The university is also offering scratch and sniff bookmarks, roving zen gardens, and stuffed animals “for you to hug and de-stress during a study break.”

Pop-up books

Ohio University’s library will be pulling special pop-up books out of its special collections to comfort overwhelmed students. If that doesn’t suffice, they can also do origami or button-making.

Build-your-own stuffed animals

The University of Wyoming is hosting an entire event dedicated to de-stressing around finals. Students can build their own stuffed animals, play dodgeball, and watch Disney Channel original movies. Thumb-sucking discouraged but not forbidden.

A girls-only dance party

Wayne State University has invited “ladies! Sisters!! Women!!!” to “get your sexy on in a safe, women’s only environment.”

With help from a professional dance instructor, students can “come blow off some serious steam and drop the stress before the finals with the hottest dance moves you’ve always wanted to try!”

Harry Potter finals week

Florida State University’s libraries have planned a Harry Potter-themed calendar of events for students traumatized by finals. Attendees can play games, including wizard’s chess and Quidditch ring toss, make pretzel wands, and build Hogwarts out of legos.

Nothing at all

Wait, this isn’t actually offered by colleges and universities. But as the stressful holiday season fast approaches, this is what the ascetic work world has to offer.

Grad school, anyone?

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.

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