Kindness goes a long way in Kuehne

Savannah Workman, Journalist

Juggling multiple things at once is tricky. With a constant influx of assignments and life events added to the to-do list, even everyday efforts can be hard for a student.

When students are stressed, it can directly impact grades and lead to feelings of helplessness. If you have trouble knowing who to turn to or what the next step is in life, counseling services is a safe, free and confidential place to seek help and guidance for one’s emotional well-being.

Washburn University counseling services is located in Kuehne Hall, suite 200.

“Often times students come in after they have experienced stress from academics or stress in relationships,” said Campus Advocate Molly Steffes-Herman. “They seem exasperated or feel overwhelmed.”

Counselors provide stress relief for students by providing confidential help that connects them with lasting support. The counseling service is also in charge of enabling students to take action in their own lives.

“I think it’s really important to students that it’s [services] free and confidential,” said Steffes-Herman. “When they’re talking to us, it’s very important for students to know that what they say to us stays in our office. Students are open to sitting down and problem-solving. We want students to feel empowered to make those decisions for themselves.”

Campus advocacy connects students with teachers, doctors, police and helping hands all around campus and in the Topeka community.

“I sit in on as many meetings with students as I can but obviously they [students] have the right to not have me in the meetings,” said Kyndall Reed, counseling services advocate intern. “I help Molly out with different activities we do. So right now, it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

The other side of counseling is sitting down and processing emotions by talking. Counseling services wants to make sure students are comfortable to promote healthy disclosure so the office provides stress-relief balls and allow students to color if they choose.

Students are able to talk about what troubles them and gain a new perspective from a counselor such as Crystal Leming, the director of counseling services.

“I really enjoy working with college students,” said Leming. “College students have a little more autonomy in their lives and a little more of an ability to maintain and stick to change. They are also not as cemented in their personality and behavior yet, so there is a lot more adaptability.”

Students who are driven by success can take many faces and personalities on campus, making counseling services one of the most diverse organizations on campus.

“It can be uncomfortable to talk to someone you just met about things that are going on in your life,” said Leming. “We work with many students who are a part of the LGBTQ community, international students, student athletes and students who deal with issues related to impoverishment.”

Kindness is built into the counselors to help balance schedules or reassure students.

“They [the students] are in control. They are the expert of their own lives,” said Steffes-Herman.

Edited by Jessica Galvin, Brianna Smith, Jackson Woods, Hannah Mitchell, Wesley Tabor, Adam White