Forget puppies. Puppies are the relics of yesterday's therapy. Sure, they're cute and fluffy, but they've lost their novelty, and with it their therapeutic value; everyone and their brother has a dog. What we really need, to startle us out of the glum fog of exam season, is something new.
How are therapy cats not the norm? Dogs jump around, and bark, and get excited; they're stressful as hell. Cats, on the other hand, are the epitome of "I don't give a shit." If a cat was confronted with an engineering midterm, do you think it would start freaking out about so-called "studying" and "preparing for the future?" Of course not. It would probably shred the exam, and then pee on it.
This was almost a reality, and I'm still holding out hope for this one. Snakes are calm, cool, relaxed creatures, and their laid-back attitude would obviously have a calming effect on stressed-out students. Plus, what better excuse for missing your exam than getting nipped by a venomous viper?
This could be combined with a laudable conservation effort. What better way to save a species on the verge extinction than bringing them in en masse for the entertainment of undergraduate students? Besides, they have a lot in common with students. Koalas are said to be constantly drunk on gum leaves (sadly a myth, though a nice sentiment); they're usually asleep; and most of them have chlamydia.
Personally, I think all children are unbearable, but some people find solace in their innocence and happiness. Twice a year, we could convert the University Community Centre into a daycare, and students could go commingle with the little ones. It would be like reading buddies in high school! And then suddenly, exams wouldn't be so bad, because at least you don't have a kid. Plus, it would act as a very convincing advertisement for safe sex.
5. Guinea pigs
What, you thought all of them were going to be weird? Guinea pigs are as fluffy and cute as puppies, but much more low maintenance. As an added bonus, they're portable — hell, you could bring them into your exam.
Let's be honest, us technology-obsessed millennials can barely manage to keep a cactus alive, let alone an animal. Tamagotchis allow you all the fun aspects of owning a pet, like cleaning up crap and buying them things, with none of the consequences. I'm pretty sure there's an an iPhone app for them, as well. Which is more than I can say for puppies.