10 Ways to Conquer Stress


By Hilary Broman, Staff Reporter

Achievement coaches are actively working with students to help them reduce their stress levels and help them to see that there are healthy ways to manage stress, said Nicole Purkeypile, a CNM achievement coach.

The following is a list that was presented by CNM achievement coaches Nicole Purkeypile and Paul Fornell, and Engineering major Kaily Young to help students try to control stress.

  1. Attend a Test Anxiety Seminar

CNM holds a monthly seminar presented by Purkeypile and Fornell to help students who deal with test taking anxiety.

The seminar discusses different exercises that students can do before a test to help them focus.

“Stress can improve academic performance but too much of it causes strong anxiety and can even cause a complete meltdown,” Fornell said.

Students can find the seminar dates and times on the Calender of events on the CNM website or participate in the online seminar , Purkeypile said.

  1. Visit an Achievement Coach

The good news is that if a student cannot attend an in-person seminar or the online seminar they can always schedule an appointment with an achievement coach at their respective campus, Purkeypile said.

Coaches can help students who struggle with test anxiety or if they are feeling overwhelmed, she said.

There are achievement coaches at every campus, Purkeypile explained.

Students can visit the achievement coach webpage  to set up an appointment with an achievement coach

“You can reach out for help. We are here to help you,” Purkeypile said.

  1. Have a Support System

When a student is in college it is important that they have a support circle that they can count on, Purkeypile said.

“Make sure that you have someone who is in your corner, someone who understands all of these things that you’re juggling and is supportive of you,” she said.

It is also helpful to network with classmates and with the CNM community because they all understand the struggles, she said.

  1. Manage Their Time

It is important to teach oneself to efficiently manage time, Purkeypile said.

“Your planner is your best friend,” she said.

It helps to plan when, where and for which class to study, this can help eliminate a lot of stress and overwhelming feelings.

  1. Work hard at the beginning of the term.

This is a strategy to prevent stress in the long run, it allows more flexibility at the end of term when a student could be feeling burnt out, Young said.

Students should not be too hard on themselves, she said.

“Letting go of perfection is what works best for me,” she said.

  1. Take Breaks

“Don’t be afraid to take breaks.  If you exhaust yourself, you won’t be able to do as well,” Young said.

  1. Socialize

Socializing can help relax the mind, Young said.

“It’s great—necessary—to be prepared for exam material, but it’s amazing how much of a difference being relaxed makes in helping me think clearly,” she said.

  1. Utilize CNM Resources

There are many resources available to students including free tutoring, textbook rentals, online research databases, and more, Young said.

Take advantage of all of the resources that are available, she said.

For a complete list of resources available to students visit the CNM resources webpage.

  1. Talk to Your Professors

When Young experiences test anxiety she said listening to music helps her to focus.

Many instructors are willing to work with students and any needs they may have including listening to music during tests, she said.

Communicating with them will help them have a better understanding of any struggles and students will get a better understanding of their expectations, Young explained.

“Even the most intimidating teachers aren’t really that scary, overall,” she said.

  1. Remember That Stress is Normal.

Purkeypile is no stranger to school related stress, she said.

“It happened to me too back then,” she explained.

Having been an educator for 16 years, Purkeypile acknowledges that stress comes with the territory.

“It’s okay to have feelings of stress when it comes to school. And it’s okay to sometimes feel overwhelmed, but there are a lot of people in the world who support you and can help you get through it,” she said.

stress-photo Illustration by Hilary Broman/CNM Chronicle





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