Just a week and a half away, students are preparing for finals. The preparation process has brought attention to the Pathways Center at Wartburg College, which helps students cope with stress, manage time properly and develop study skills.

“[Stress is] A combination of things, it doesn’t have to be related to academics, it could be anything that overwhelms you,” Jouie Jinah, a fourth-year student and counselor at the Writing, Reading and Speaking Lab (WRSL), said. “It could be emotions related to too much work, or family/personal issues that you’re going through. Something that overwhelms you and you find it hard to cope with.”

Stress is one of the three most prominent servicerequired issues that students need guidance for, according to Molly Wertz, a Pathways counselor. However, stress does not have to have a negative connotation.

“One thing to remember about stress is that stress is actually a normal part of life,” Wertz said. “We have a stress response for a reason and in our society I think we’ve made stress into something really terrible. Stress is meant to help us prepare for what’s next. It’s supposed to help us stay focused and motivated.” Charmaine Denison-George, a fourth-year student and tutor in the WRSL at Wartburg also shares a similar opinion on stress.

“I’ve learned that stress can be good and bad. So usually when we think of stress we think of the negatives only. In terms or negative stress I would say when you’re overwhelmed by all the activities,”Denison-George said.

“The good stress would be when the adrenaline kicks in, when you have a lot of things to do, but you’re very motivated and energized to do all of it.” Some of the tips Wertz gave for stressful students are to manage time properly, set priorities and realistic expectations, download mental health apps, mediate, exercise and do some yoga, reach out to people, set a healthy diet and stay away from caffeine.

“I would encourage people to take time each day for self-care, deep breathing because when we take a deep breath it sends a signal to our brain that things are OK, I can do this,” Wertz said.
“Go to finals week, prepare as best as you can and then you’ll learn what to do differently the next time.”

In addition to counseling, Pathways provides career services, vocation and mentoring, the WRSL and resume help. For more information on Pathways, go to



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