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Finals begin Thursday, and for some students that means marathon study sessions, too little sleep, and too much stress.

Luckily, students (and faculty and staff) won’t have to look far to find some fun respite to the chaos:

Ice Cream, Massages and More

UT Libraries’ “De-Stress for Success” events begin tomorrow, December 5, and continue every weekday through Wednesday, December 12.

Some events students can enjoy are:

  • December 5—Student Assessment of Instruction System (SAIS) “Chill Out” ice cream social, noon to 2:00 p.m. Have a cool treat while completing your online instructor evaluation forms in the Commons.
  • December 6 and 7, 10, 11, and 12—Student Health Center’s promotion of healthy eating and study habits, noon to 2:00 p.m. December 6 and 7; 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on December 10, 11, and 12.
  • Daily—Chair massages from the Knoxville Massage Therapy Center 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Ongoing events include cartoons, games, and coloring books in one of the library’s viewing rooms.

Steve Smith, dean of libraries, encourages students to take a break from the long hours of studying.

“We want to boost our students’ success and keep them healthy at the end of what, for many, is a long and taxing semester,” he said.

All the events are free and will be held in Hodges Library.

Visit for more information.

Animal Therapy

“Research shows that petting an animal lowers blood pressure and stress hormones,” said Karen Armsey, program administrator of Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee, or HABIT.

HABIT is a group that brings medically and behaviorally screened animals to places where people need comfort.

HABIT will bring its furry companions to soothe frazzled students in Hodges Library (part of its De-Stress for Success events) and Scripps Convergence Lab on the fourth floor of the College of Communication and Information.

See the animals in Hodges Library:

  • December 5 and 6—From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • December 7 and 10—From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • December 11—From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • December 12—From noon to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

See the animals in the Scripps Lab:

  • December 6, 7, 10 and 11—From 10:00 a.m. to noon

For more information, visit the HABIT website.

Hot Chocolate and Popcorn

The McClung Museum in Circle Park will hand out free hot chocolate and popcorn from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, for students taking finals in its lecture hall and any other students who want a breather and a snack.

“As a campus museum we get students in our doors every day for class, and we really want to make a point to better interact with them,” said Abby Naunheimer, the museum’s weekend program coordinator. “We want to celebrate with and congratulate the students for a job well done as they leave for the holidays.”

The snacks will be handed out at the entrance of the museum.

Visit for more information about the museum.

C O N T A C T :

Christine Copelan (

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,