The Bethel University Center for Academic Success wants to help students relieve stress this finals week. They will provide a variety of activities, including “kitten therapy” courtesy of All 4 Animals Rescue (A4A). Mon., Dec. 6, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., kittens will be available to pet, hold, and play with on the first floor of the Miller-Moore Academic Center.
“Petting animals is shown to lower blood pressure (a.k.a. stress). Helping students lower their stress level even a little bit is important so that they can demonstrate what they’ve learned rather than how anxious they are. It’s also extremely important to have frequent short breaks in the middle of the studying and intense recall of exam week,” says Rachel Kennedy, Director of the Center for Academic Success.
A4A is a non-profit all-volunteer no-kill shelter. Kennedy, who fostered for the organization last year, says many of the animals they get are sent to them by the Humane Society because they know A4A won’t put them down. As an all-volunteer organization, they are hoping to recruit some new volunteers as a result of doing the event.
Petting kittens isn’t the only activity planned to help students de-stress during finals week.
Fri., Dec. 3, free massages were offered in the Academic Center. Sun., Dec. 5, anti-anxiety bottles will be available in the Learning Commons. More animals will be offered for stress relief with dogs on Tues., Dec. 7 from 7:45 a.m.-2 p.m., in the Academic Center stairwell, and goats on Wed., Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the large gazebo on campus. Throughout the week, Christmas cookies and popcorn will be offered in various locations around campus.
Kennedy explains, “Some of these events provide that break for students who might not otherwise make time for self-care.”
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