Ah, finals week! It’s full of frantic studying, all-nighters, and 20-page papers whose outlines, rough drafts, and final copies get written in record time.

Naturally, that work can cause an inordinate amount of stress, and universities are finally being sensitive enough to help students cope with it. According to Campus Reform, the following stress-coping techniques are popping up on campuses across the nation:

“The University of St. Thomas will supplement its two-day stress-busting service with puppies with a fully loaded hot chocolate bar, while the University of Utah will be serving students pancakes.

‘Wellness and Practice will be hosting puppy therapy along with a hot chocolate bar with fun and delicious toppings! Please join us for this stress relieving event!’ reads the UST event description.

The ‘Finals Fest’ event at the University of Louisville includes a day filled with activities for stressed-out students.

Early in the morning, Louisville students can grab hot cocoa from the ‘Cocoa Cart,’ and in the afternoon they can frolic with borrowed puppies in case they’re ‘missing [their] furry friends back home.’

Students then have an evening opportunity for food, massages, yoga, and bingo in the library.”

With all those activities to cope with the stress of finals, one has to wonder when students will actually find the time to study for finals.

The fact is, they may not have to study much at all. According to statistics, today’s college students only spend 16 percent of their time in college studying or attending class, while a whopping 51 percent of their time goes to socializing. Thus, it’s little wonder that the stress of finals likely freaks today’s college students out.

But are these coping mechanisms really helping them to deal with the stress, or are they just promoting a form of escapism?

My guess is it’s the latter. From experience, I know that the last weeks of the semester can certainly be crazy and stressful. That said, I’ve also had some tremendously stress-filled days at work in the years since college. And believe me, there certainly weren’t any puppies at the office to help me cope.

Instead, it’s safe to say that the stress I endured in college is one of the things that made adjusting to stress in the working world a little easier.

If today’s students are continually given emotional pacifiers to help them through the tough times, is it any wonder they are clueless about how to function as adults when they move beyond college?  

Image Credit: University of Nottingham bit.ly/1iowB8m