Students relieves stress on campus before finals

State Hornet Staff

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As finals week draws near, students may find themselves studying more than usual, frequently bringing along a little stress as well.

The third annual De-Stress Fest on Tuesday offered pet therapy, positive cards from fellow students, blow-up obstacles courses and salsa demonstrations to participate in some fun while relieving some stress.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology Nancy Kalish and the Student Health and Counseling Services brought along fuzzy therapeutic dogs for students to pet before finals.

“Petting a therapy dog is calming for the heart,” Kalish said. “They’re happy dogs so they make people happy.”

Kalish said he dogs are certified therapy dogs and petting a calm fuzzy animal causes people to relax.

“There’s research that shows that when people pet a dog, their blood pressure goes down,” Kalish said. “If somebody has had a heart attack and is recovering, they recover better with a dog present.”

Psychology major Clari Poppe stopped by to pet one of the therapy dogs at De-Stress Fest to see what it was all about.

“I recently had to put my dog down, so I was really glad to be able to pet another dog,”Poppe said. “They were calm, it’s like they take away all your problems. To me it’s like a form of meditation in a sense.”

With graduating looming, Poppe said she has been uncertain with what her future holds.

“When I was around the dog, I focused on it and totally relieved my stress and anxieties,” Poppe said. “I realized that I didn’t have to worry about the future but to just be in the present moment.”

Aside from having the chance to pet dogs, the fest also focused on promoting positive emotion on campus.

Psychology majors Miriam Alexander and Rebecca Torski were both promoting hope and reducing the social stigma on mental illness.

They had students write down their hopes in life in order to create a sense of connection with other students who share similar hopes.

“We want to let students know that they aren’t alone in whatever they’re feeling,” Torski said. “We want to inspire everyone to have hope for the future and that they don’t give up on anything.”

Jennifer Burton, health educator for the Student Health and Counseling Services said she wants to inform students of the importance of sleep during finals week.

“When you get an adequate amount of sleep, you obtain information better,” Burton said. “We encourage students to get their seven to nine hours of sleep and to stick to their regular sleep schedules while studying for finals.”



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