Professors, Counselors Working to Lessen Stress in Berks Colleges

Posted on October 26, 2020 by

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Did you ever wonder what things are like as a college student attending a college or university in Berks County during a worldwide pandemic?

Many teachers in Berks County are doing everything they can to lessen stress and anxiety for students. They have provided many different resources for them to adapt and get the help they need. Two Kutztown University students, in particular, have been attending for a while now, and they have some pretty interesting thoughts and opinions on how Kutztown is helping and what things are like since the pandemic has completely changed the college world. 

Berks County colleges and universities are working to lessen stress and anxiety.

“All of us are experiencing a little bit of anxiety in some fashion to some degree just because of the uncertainty of whether things are going to open or stay closed or if somebody we love is going to get sick,’’ Susan L. Mangold, assistant dean of students at Kutztown University, said. “The students and faculty have the added stress of trying to teach remotely and using different technology.”

Colleges spent months putting plans in place to help the students. 

Campus organizations have held events virtually or in large spaces to follow safety guidelines. They did this to help lessen stress and give the students some life on campus. 

Students have a variety of resources available to them to help with mental health on-campus and off-campus through partnerships with other organizations. 

“Our counseling center has been busy,” Wessner of Albright College said. “They’ve been booking in-person appointments. They’re using our conference room during the sessions so that the counselor and the student can social distance and be able to feel comfortable in the space’’

Most schools require face masks, social distance, offer hand sanitizer, and add foot pulls to bathroom doors. Classes are in-person, blended , or fully virtual; students get to have their own pick (also dependent upon the classes they take.) Programs are available to students with academic needs (renting laptops for the semester, unable to find a quiet place on campus to do their work, or help with other technology like higher speed or more reliable internet.)

“The faculty are really going above and beyond trying to assist the students in any way possible,’’ Wesner said. “From what I’ve experienced, professors are being as helpful as they can and generous. They’re trying to take as much of the academic pressure as they can considering that so much is changing.

“They worked really hard over the summer to prepare classes and to adjust classes to put them in different settings,” Mangold said.

There are so many other things that schools have done to change things to lessen stress and anxiety and to also keep the fun environment of college.

Still, college is a little different than what students are used

“I enjoy doing some classes on campus and others from home,” Tyler Blankenbiller of Kutztown University said.

“It gives me time to socialize and still get the on-campus feeling since it was my last year,” Brooke Blankenbiller, also of KU, said.

Both said they feel comfortable enough to talk to counselors at the school, and the changes the school made are good, enough so that they don’t feel stressed.

But, if they had a preference, they love to be on campus.