'Puppy room' to relieve exam stress at University of Aberdeen
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Exam time can be stressful. After a day in the library sometimes all you want to do is veg out in front of a cheesy film, eat pizza... play with a puppy? Hot on the heels of universities in Canada that have already taken up the scheme, the University of Aberdeen is set to open the UK’s first ‘puppy room’ – which students can visit for a mental boost when all the cramming just gets too much. Barking mad? You might think so. But after a hugely successful trial in February, the Golden Retrievers, Labradors et al will be making their return to the Scottish university in May, courtesy of Guide Dogs Scotland – just in time to relieve the stress of exam period. Emma Carlen, Aberdeen University’s president of societies and student activities, says: “We got a really positive reaction to that from both the guide dogs and the students, it really chilled them out, so that encouraged us to get this set up for the exam period.” We personally think this idea is inspired, as did students at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, where the puppy room was first rolled out. Some Dalhousie students reportedly “ran from class” to be first in line, and left afterwards feeling “relaxed; full of happiness”, because “puppies are pretty much the best thing ever.” The puppies were so popular that the idea even spread to the hallowed walls of Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School. Anyone worried about animal safety in such a situation should look to Dalhousie – their canine companions were “specifically prepared for the intense love and affection you’d expect in a puppy room”, according to their website. Which is a relief, considering the puppy love described above. Back in Aberdeen, students will also be given fruit, snack bars, muffins, tea, coffee and massages in order to rid them of the dreaded exam fear - but if Canada is anything to go by the puppy room might prove the most popular offering. Visit the puppies in Aberdeen between 13th and 23rd May.