Stressed-out students pet puppies, learn secrets of 'adulting'

OU recently hosted a three-hour "Stress Free Zone" featuring lawn games, henna tattoos, and "PUPPIES!!!!," while the Rutgers "BOLD Center" hosts "coffee and chat" events on subjects like "adulting."

Oglethorpe University and Rutgers University have joined the list of schools making sure students don’t get too stressed out by final exams and jobs.

Oglethorpe University and Rutgers University have joined the list of schools making sure students don’t get too stressed out by final exams and jobs.

The Oglethorpe Counseling Center, for example, recently sponsored a three-hour “Stress Free Zone” on December 9, the last day of classes, where student could go to enjoy puppies and henna tattoos.

[RELATED: Schools provide puppies, massages to ease exam stress]

“What better way to relieve end of semester stress than some good old fashioned stress relieving fun,” the event description states. “This year’s stress free zone will include old fashioned yard games, arts and crafts, henna tattoos, and most importantly, PUPPIES!!!!!”

Photos from the event show about two dozen students petting dogs and playing cornhole.

OU also advertised the event on its official Facebook page, gushing that “some furry friends helped us celebrate the last day of classes today in the Counseling Center's Stress Free Zone!”

“Stress free zone? A lot has changed since I was there,” one Oglethorpe alum commented on the post, while another addressed the students directly, scoffing that “There are no stress free zones in real life snowflakes.”

The University held a similar event last year with puppies, painting, tie dye, and inspirational handouts.

[RELATED: AU students retreat to 'stress free zone' for cocoa, corn hole]

Rutgers University, meanwhile, has also expanded the stress-free effort to their career services, creating a new Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Center at Douglass Residential College, an all-female college.

The BOLD Center helps students find the career of their dreams and “[makes] sure they can enjoy their success when it happens.”

On top of standard career center services such as resume writing, leadership retreats, and career conferences, the BOLD center also hosts “coffee and chat,” which facilitates conversations about “mindfulness and happiness.”

Examples of “coffee and chats” include “#adulting,” where college students could learn how to handle the basic responsibilities of life, as well as “On freedom, diversity, and inclusion” and “Happiness Project.”

[RELATED: College wants students to ‘color away your testing stress!’]

“We want students to get and succeed in the job of their dreams,” said Leslie Danehy, director of the BOLD Center. “But you can get going in your career and get so stressed out that it’s hard to appreciate having that job.’’

“They are giving us great resources for things we can do when we get stressed out,’’ said Brianna Bornstein, a first-year dietetics major. “I think when you get overwhelmed you begin to doubt yourself and your abilities.”

The BOLD Center addresses what they consider to be unique workplace challenges for women, such as the “gender wage gap” and “barriers to leadership.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey