Lilian Min
May 06, 2015 12:01 pm

Understatement of the year: School is stressful. Many students balance sports, clubs, outside interests, work, and their social lives around something that takes as much time and energy as a full-time job. Of course, it’s easy to say that “It was tougher in the old days, without Wikipedia and the Internet,” but that doesn’t mean anything to someone who’s trying to finish their calculus problem set, an essay, and a lab report, all while keeping tabs on their friends, parrying with their parents, and navigating the intense feelings of being a young adult.

Luckily, at least one school gets this, and is offering a remedy to all the confusion and hurt in the world: Puppies.

The University of Lancashire’s student union is offering stressed out students a chance to chill and cuddle in a puppy room. For a £1 donation (that’s a pound, for the non-Brits), you’ll have an all-access pass to puppy playtime, the perfect antidote to any kind of stress and anxiety you might have. (Or, at least if you’re not allergic to dogs.) Lest you wonder how the pups themselves might take the attention, no fear: These little scamps will have their own handlers and a de-stressing room of their own, but they’re being trained as guide dogs, and so the experience actually benefits them too. Really, you’ll want to do it just to help them, right?

As Bored Panda points out, beyond the obvious “Awwww” value of tiny pups wagging their tails and wanting your affection, a 2012 Japanese study shows that people actually perform better on tests after being exposed to fluffy baby animals, which are the embodiment of extreme cuteness — what, in Japanese, is deemed “kawaii.” It’s the same phenomenon that’s given rise to such cute icons like Hello Kitty, but applied to a more “productive” setting.

The University of Lancashire isn’t the only school that’s utilized puppy power to help destress students, but it’s still in the minority when it comes to addressing a real need for stress-relieving head-on. As long as the puppies are safe and snuggly, what’s the harm in spreading the wet-nosed love? Especially if it means giving the next generation the chance to catch their breath in a world of distractions, expectations, and uncertainty about the future.

(Images via here and here.)

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