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Chapman University group finds new way to relieve stress during finals week -- puppies

December 3, 2009 | 12:22 pm

Finals week is one of the most stressful times of the year for college students, so a mental awareness group at Chapman University decided to bring some puppies onto the Orange County campus for students to hug their worries away.

On Wednesday, in the middle of cram week, a bunch of puppies will be stationed outside the university library for students to pet and play with. The event, called "Furry Friends for Finals" is being organized by the university’s Active Minds club, which promotes mental awareness.

"It has been proven that having a dog helps relieve stress, so we thought it would be a cute idea if we brought some furry friends on campus," said Jennifer Heinz, a sophomore and integrated educational studies major who helped organize the event.

Heinz said her poodle-and-Maltese mix, Bindi, helps her relax. "I love my dog," she said. "Dogs are always so happy and want to play, and that helps make you happier."

Heinz said she’s received comments from other students expressing excitement about the cuddly canines.

"You can automatically see on someone’s face when something happy comes to them, and little dogs are a cute way of doing that," she said. "It’s a nice way to step back from reality and just be stress-free for a moment."

Active Minds will also have pamphlets and resources about how students can reduce stress and take care of themselves during finals, said Megan Brown, the group’s advisor and a counselor for Student Psychological Counseling Services.

"The puppies are to draw them in and give them something fun and relaxing that will help them de-stress, but it also provides them with resources to help them through finals as well," Brown said.

-- My-Thuan Tran

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