Bethel partners with Pet Refuge for finals week ‘kitten therapy’

NOW: Bethel partners with Pet Refuge for finals week ‘kitten therapy’


ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—Bethel College held a “kitten therapy” session on Tuesday to give students a study break.

“One of the reasons we do it is studies have shown that petting animals can lower your blood pressure significantly and we know today’s college students have a high level of stress in their lives,” said Rachel Kennedy, Director of the Center for Academic Success.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 85% of college students reported that they had felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point within the year and 30% reported that stress as negatively affected their academic performance.  

Sophomore Hannah Darling is currently studying for her own final exams as she works towards her degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the college.

 “I think it just takes our minds off final exams and just relax a little bit because it is overwhelming,” Darling said.

Kennedy teamed up with Pet Refuge three semesters ago to create a mellow environment, complete with furry friends, for students to relax during the classically stressful week.

“All of the kittens today are adoptable. It’s funny, actually one student was interested in actually adopting one themselves and that’s the first time that’s happened,” Kennedy said.

The study break event also included puzzles, coloring, popcorn, a “meme” wall, a bubble wrap wall and dogs. A chemistry professor even brought piglets from her farm to the campus on Monday for students told hang out with. 

Final exams aren't the only things taking over campus in the coming week. Bethel College will officially become Bethel University on May 6.

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