AU students retreat to 'stress free zone' for cocoa, corn hole

Students at American University can now escape from their final exams in the school’s all-inclusive “stress free zone” complete with board games and snacks.

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A sign located outside the school’s new “stress free zone” in the Terrace Dining Room warns approaching students that there is “absolutely no studying for finals, looking at flashcards” or “calculating grades…tolerated beyond this point.”

“Relax! Enjoy your food! Play games!” the jovial sign advises students, who were also afforded the opportunity to partake in a nearby “Stress Less Fest” where they would be given “de-stress kits” while they sip “hot cocoa” and play “corn hole.”

Apparently, the “de-stress kits” came with a free stash of granola bars and soothing teas for students to enjoy while they study, along with a warning that alcohol and marijuana are ineffective ways of de-stressing.

“Using alcohol to de-stress may cause trauma to the brain's neurotransmitters. Because it’s a depressant, it causes the brain to slow down,” a brochure placed in the “de-stress kits” informs students, adding that “smoking marijuana can increase anxiety in the long-term” while “cigarettes contain stimulants, such as nicotine, that can increase stress levels.”

American University, though, is not the only school hosting a “Stress Less Fest” for its students, with places such as the University of Missouri, Kansas City offering “adult coloring and healthy snacks.”

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Similarly, the University of South Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted a de-stressing event last year before final exams where students could play in a “giant ball pit” and make their own “s’mores kit.”

Campus Reform reached out to AU for comment on the event, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski