‘Finals Round Up’ is the cure for end of semester stress

Carson-Newman students pet Mac, a Bernese Mountain Dog, during “Paws and Play” on Friday afternoon to relieve stress between finals. Pictures from left are Adria Bare, Sydney Myers, Ben Hardy, Lauren Sharpe, Brooke Fillmore, Cameron Harrell, and dog owner Marian Cox.

Carson-Newman students pet Mac, a Bernese Mountain Dog, during “Paws and Play” on Friday afternoon to relieve stress between finals. Pictures from left are Adria Bare, Sydney Myers, Ben Hardy, Lauren Sharpe, Brooke Fillmore, Cameron Harrell, and dog owner Marian Cox.

A big sloppy kiss from a four-legged friend may be the key to forgetting the stress of dreaded finals, or perhaps a ride on a mechanical bull will send the stress flying.

Carson-Newman University’s Counseling Services and Life Directions Center with cooperation from several other campus groups sponsored “the Finals Round Up” to help students relieve finals stress.

Each year, Carson-Newman tries to find new and creative ways to provide students with stress management events and a safe environment to just let loose leading up to tests that could very well determine the outcome of their final semester GPA.

“It is good for our students to be able to find balance,” said Jennifer Catlett with Counseling Services. “In order to perform well academically, they need to have a time of relaxation and give the brain a little bit of rest.”

And one of the best ways to do that is to invest a bit of time with canine friends that won’t judge those who played Xbox instead of studying for an upcoming Chemistry final. Catlett said the “Paws and Play” is a favorite among students.

“Research shows that dogs can be therapeutic in reducing stress,” Catlett said.

All Paws Bed and Bath brought several canine friends to play with students outside C-N’s Maddox Student Activity Center.

Students even had the opportunity to socialize with a special visitor. Executive Vice President and Provost Kina Mallard debuted her Labradoodle, Bentley, for his first pet therapy session after completing training a few weeks ago.

“Dogs bring smiles to your face,” Mallard said. “It’s hard to be stressed by a final exam when you’re petting Bentley.”

Another annual tradition on campus is the “Late Nite Breakfast” where faculty and staff serve students omelets and chocolate waffles. Students break from studying to socialize and participate in karaoke or lip-synching to their favorite songs over orange juice and cheerios from 9 to 11 p.m.

However, the big hit was last week’s “Finals Round Up.”

“I absolutely had a blast at the Round Up,” said C-N senior Alex Van Buren.

Students could ride a mechanical bull, create a personalized street sign, engrave their names on leather bracelets, and socialize over snacks.

“I love the fact that C-N does fun things like this to help students relax for finals,” said Van Buren.

All activities were free of charge for C-N students.

Finals continue this week for students. Undergraduate Commencement will be held 9 a.m. Friday, May 10, in Burke-Tarr Stadium with Graduate Student Commencement held at 7 p.m. that evening in Jefferson City’s First Baptist Church. In case of rain, Undergraduate Commencement will be split into two ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and held in the Holt Fieldhouse.