Exam stress is an inevitable, albeit tedious, part of university life and with the numbers of students asking for help regarding mental health issues around exam periods rising, UK universities have finally realised that something needs to be done about the unavoidable pressures that are placed upon today’s students.
— Beth Fenn (@BethFenn1) May 21, 2015
My exam stress has got to the point where I’m having panic attacks… That’s how stressed I am
— grace_arianator (@arianator089) May 21, 2015
However, instead of taking the usual route of putting on support groups or directing students to their counselling facilities, universities around the UK have been putting some serious creativity into their stress relieving ideas!
We’ve put together a collection of some of the best ways that students have been relieving their tension!
Both the University of Exeter and the University of Bristol have implemented rooms full of tiny fluffy animals. Both puppies and micro-pigs have been brought in for hours of petting and furry fun. This is a clinically proven way to release endorphins, thus breaking any sadness or anxiety that the students felt. Don’t worry – the puppies are regularly rotated and have consistent breaks so they don’t get sad themselves!
Image: Lwp Kommunikáció
Just as cute
If tiny puppies and micro-pigs are not what you need, Reading University have brought in some slightly unusual animals to try to calm student’s nerves. Bearded dragons, boa constrictors and lizards are all available for a quick cuddle to help combat stress. I’m not too sure of the scientific logic behind this one, but if reptiles are what calms you down after an exam get yourself to Reading!
Re-live your childhood!
Bouncy castles, ball pits and visits from Shetland ponies have all been introduced by the University of Plymouth, University of Leicester and Bath Spa University. These fairground-esque events will help you de-stress and embrace that inner child within yourself, because nobody was stressed as child right? What could be more enjoyable than swimming in a ball pit or jumping your stress away in an inflatable castle?
http://t.co/4dqZfKgXch this is why I’m going to Dundee – petting zoo, bouncy castle and bubble wrap
— L.A.M (@MooreyMoore) August 15, 2014
One for the hipsters!
University of Huddersfield and Queen Mary University of London have taken an alternative, yet popular, route to combat their student’s stress. Meditation and knitting, (yes you read that correctly) have been introduced to create an air of calm instead of the high excitement methods that other universities have taken. The student’s knitting also acts to raise money for Age-UK! Who says students can’t multi-task?!
Image: David Martyn Hunt
Lets get back to basics
Last, but most definitely not least, American universities have gone back to basics by instigating screaming groups to help release tension before a particularly stressful finals week! This is a good way to physically vocalise anything that’s worrying you, without necessarily having to step foot on campus!
If you’re suffering from exam stress you can of course take any of these methods into your own hands – although I would recommend giving your fellow housemates a warning in advance if you’re planning on doing some good old-fashioned screaming!
In all seriousness, exam season is a stressful time, it’s important to keep well rested, stay calm and try not to panic!
If you’re feeling particularly anxious or under pressure, websites such as The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day to discuss your worries, and most universities offer counselling and support groups during this difficult time.
Good luck from everyone at the Kettle Mag team!