Exam time can be tough. The thought of one grade possibly affecting the rest of our lives can put huge amounts of stress on our shoulders — but fortunately, the staff at Nottingham Trent University in the UK was listening: They opened a piglet room to help students de-stress during their exams. That's right, a room entirely full of baby pigs to pet, play with, and of course, take selfies with. Much like the University of Central Lancashire's puppy room, the piglet room allows students to do something besides study and helps get their minds off of exam week, even if it's only for a couple of minutes.
"It’s been busy the entire two days.... There’s just a really good buzz around the campus," said the university's student union president, Marcus Boswell, in an interview with Mashable. But piglets aren't all they have; continued Boswell, "As well as the seven micro-pigs, there's also a donkey, two goat kids, ducks, and chickens. Students spend five minutes with the animals in groups of up to five people."
As was the case with the puppy room, this piglet paradise isn't only an effort to help students, but also to raise funds for the Guide Dogs Nottingham Mobility Team, an organization that trains guide dogs for the visually impaired.
So not only is there a room full of micro-piglets somewhere in the world, but it's for a good cause too? Faith restored in humanity. Besides being adorable, the piglet room's stress relief capabilities has a scientific foundation. Check out the health benefits that come with an overload of adorableness:
1. Stress Relief
Researchers at The State University of New York at Buffalo asked participants to complete a stressful task alone, or with a spouse, friend, or pet. Those with their pet experienced the lowest amount of stress.
2. Anxiety Reduction
Patients who spent time with their pet before receiving a medical treatment experienced a 37 percent reduction in anxiety levels, according to a study.
3. Heart Health
Talking to and touching an animal were accompanied by lower blood pressure in people than human conversation, found a study from The University of South Carolina.
4. Help for Depression
"When people are depressed, they often feel unseen, both emotionally and physically," said Allen Wagner LMFT, a Los Angeles and Calabasas–based Marriage and Family Therapist. "This leads us to a sense of feeling alone, which can snowball into isolation, and than the self-fulfilling prophecy occurs where we really are alone. Pets can shift this in a very real way."
As if we really needed more reasons than just the fact that piglets are adorable.