Stressed and distressed

Competitive colleges are offering a range of services for stressed students, says the New York Times.

There are now free massages and dogs to cuddle in exam seasons, biofeedback workshops and therapists available to help students work through their first C.

At Harvard, the training given to graduate students who live in the undergraduate houses has in recent years expanded to include ways to help students fight perfectionism — a theme on many campuses — as well as negotiate matters involving race, class and sexual identity.

. . . Washington University in St. Louis has established stress-free zones during finals, where students can get chair massages and listen to New Age music. Addressing the notoriously poor sleeping habits of undergraduates, the university recently celebrated Sleep Awareness Week by handing out sleep quizzes and reminding residential advisers not to brag about how little sleep they can get by on.

On a student blog, Social Justice Friends, which includes Betsy’s daughter, Libertaria says the college admissions mania creates perfectionists who go on to burden college counseling budgets.

Some pressure is healthy, but sites like are just ridiculous. They charge $8,995 for a “Standard Consultation” and $18,000 for a “Complete Strategy.” Absurd.

There were no free massages in my day, I can tell you that. We had to pay for our own marijuana!

About Joanne


  1. What a bunch of nancy-boys. Can’t they just get stupid drunk, do something foolish, and feel better the next morning? Seems to work for me.

  2. Nice to see my alma mater (Bowdoin) get some press, even if it’s about naked women. Then again, that might help lure more guys there, as they’ve had real problems attracting men recently.

  3. Fuzzy Rider says:

    Are there any REAL colleges and universities left? One is tempted to wonder how on earth these pampered little children will react when faced with the real world…

    Actually, I know of at least one pure University-New Mexico Tech. No sports, no fraternities or sororities, no anti-stress programs – just an academic experience that is NOT for the faint-hearted!

  4. Walter Wallis says:

    Ixnay. uryay aughterday ightmay eadray isthay.

  5. Richard Brandshaft says:

    In MY day — 40+ years ago — students suicides were considered a problem. People just did less about it.

  6. Sean Kinsell says:

    “There are now free massages and dogs to cuddle in exam seasons, biofeedback workshops and therapists available to help students work through their first C.”

    Yeah, that’ll come in handy when they’re working 80-hour weeks in I-banking or graded on normal distribution curves in grad school. Can’t they just bitch to each other about how their parents don’t understand their dreams and then get blotto after the week of all-nighters leading up to exams, like normal people? (What Jordan said, IOW.)

  7. “There are now free massages and dogs to cuddle in exam seasons, biofeedback workshops and therapists available to help students work through their first C.”

    Point #1 – I never worked for or through a C. I got all mine by avoiding work.

    Point #2 – You don’t need a dog to cuddle to relieve stress. Relieving stress is what members of the opposite sex, sports, quiet libraries, the outdoors, games, dorm parties, stupid movies, best friends and weekends are for. By the time you graduate if all you know is what you learned in lectures, study groups and textbooks. Heaven help you.

    Point #3 – A massage won’t do you nearly as much good as a monthly night of drinking, flirting, dancing, getting shit-faced, and eventually getting thrown out of the Cowboy Bar will do for you. Do it while you are young. By the time you turn 40 a night like that will kill you.

    Point #4 – College is supposed to be an institution of higher education. If you can’t learn how to deal appropriately with failure and setbacks while there, stay there. We don’t want you anywhere near our workplace. The rest of us have a job to do and we don’t need to be giving you massages and cuddles every time something goes wrong.

  8. Bill Leonard says:

    Massages? Puppies to cuddle?

    Well, golly-gosh. Maybe we should just let ’em be stressed, let a requisite number fail and have to be out there in the work force for a year or two before returning to academe. Bet they won’t be nearly so stressed the second time around — not after working for a living a for a year or two.

  9. JimInNOVA says:

    Can anyone tell me why college is so stressful? I carried a “full load” of at least 18 credits every semester and still had time to be intoxicated, fornicating, or both at least four times a week. If some el ed major needs a puppy to hug because she can’t deal with her 12 credit (half elective) courseload, perhaps she needs to do as Bill suggests and go work for a while for someone who doesn’t give a rodent’s posterior.

  10. How about we take these pampered 18 – 22 year olds and let them change places with the 18 – 22 year olds stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq and learn about real pressure and stress.

    Makes you wonder what is going to happen the first time a boss gives them a dressing down for a mistake that they make. I guess they will run to the nearest shrink and whine about how unfair the world is and that he is a mean mean man.


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