We never thought we’d miss exams, but we might be persuaded to resit our finals if we were as lucky as students at the University of Westminster, who this week got to play with cute baby animals.
A puppy and bunny room was set up yesterday to help stressed-out students relax – and demand was so high that the bookable slots sold out in minutes. It might sound like a bit of fluff, but there’s science behind the idea. Dr Trudi Edginton, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the university, said: “Students often worry about how well they are going to perform in their exams and this pressure can make it difficult to concentrate, relax or sleep. Unfortunately stress and anxiety can also impair memory and attention, which can disrupt revision and exam performance. However, the good news is that there are some simple techniques that can reduce these effects.” Namely, “The instant joy that we feel when we see baby animals is incredibly soothing and ideal for reducing anxiety due to the immediate release of oxytocin. Therefore, meeting our puppies and bunnies at the University of Westminster is a perfect way to reduce exam stress.” Organiser and student union vice president Lauren Waugh said she decided to set up the event to give the students something exciting to look forward to before the exam period.
The 12 puppies and 8 bunnies came from registered breeders and were allowed plenty of breaks and walks outside the room to make sure that they didn’t get stressed out either.