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PuppyPalooza Helps De-Stress Students

Delaney McLean

The end of the semester can be a stressful time with assignments, projects and final exams bearing down on you, so close to the light at the end of the tunnel but not quite there yet. Everyone has ways of combating that pressure and University Recreation & Wellness has an event that might be exactly what you’re looking for, PuppyPalooza!

On April 25, University Recreation and Prevention & Wellness, in partnership with the Cape Coral Animal Shelter, will be bringing puppies to campus once again. As with every semester around finals, students will be invited to spend time cuddling and playing with the campus’s furry four-legged visitors from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event brings in high attendance each semester and for good reason, there’s science behind the warm fuzzy feelings that puppies bring. Spending time with animals can reduce stress, increase concentration and improve mood, all much-coveted benefits for any overworked student feeling burnt-out — and if there’s ever a time when a good de-stressor would help most, it’s finals.

Events like this one reflect an awareness of student mental health; while PuppyPalooza might not be something everyone will enjoy, efforts being made by campus organizations to provide comfort, relaxation and resources for managing stress are always worth shining a light on. The expectations of student life can be a lot, balancing social lives with classwork, with employment, so acknowledgment of this difficulty and attempts to give students access to things that could make life easier, or at the very least relieve some of the stress for a moment. It’s a wonderful thing to see FGCU’s organizations engaging in.

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Beyond the campus and students, though, this event even benefits the puppies, all of whom are up for adoption and seeking forever homes. Socialization through playing with a variety of people, other dogs and being exposed to new environments helps to make a dog more suitable for home life — so even if students or their families don’t end up being the adopters of these pups, just by playing with them for a bit they can help increase the puppies’ chances. 

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