Leicester University students have spent this week popping bubble wrap and petting dogs as part of the union's novel approach to alleviating exam stress.
The measures, introduced to coincide with the start of exam period, have been met with delight.
So my uni just brought loads of puppies in for students to hug because #leicester— Dami Hastrup (@DamiHastrup) May 21, 2014
The initiatives aim to provide light relief for those busy revising, as well as supporting the mental health of students. Michael Rubin, the union’s education officer, told the Leicester Mercury that: “We know how stressful exams can be, and mental wellbeing is a top priority for the students’ union.”
The visiting guide dogs have proved particularly popular, with the 15 minute slots to pet them booked up far in advance. By way of thanks for the puppy’s presence, students have been encouraged to donate £1 to the charity Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Leicester’s students will also be able to try out the therapeutic effects of popping bubble wrap, as “popping stations” equipped with hundreds of metres of it are set to hit campus. The idea for these came about in light of claims that popping bubble wrap is a more effective way of reducing tension than meditation or yoga.
Other methods of de-stressing are also being trialled by the union. These include more conventional ones, such as opening the student bar for longer and providing board games. The union is also focussing on food and drink, by distributing 100 free cups of tea a day and £3 recipe bags containing everything needed to cook two meals.
These steps seem set for success if the union’s previous initiatives are anything to go by. In January, the forward-thinking university introduced a petting zoo during exam time. Though it was only around for one day, its selection of farmyard animals went down a storm.