Dealing with Everything You Have Going On

What is Stress?

Stress is defined as a response to a demand that is placed upon you. Some stress is good! Without it, people would not get a lot done. That extra burst of adrenaline that helps you finish your final paper or go out on stage is positive stress. It is a short-term physiological tension and added mental alertness that subsides when the challenge has been met, enabling you to relax and carry on.

Too much stress can have a negative effect on you. The changes in your body (increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and muscle tension) start to take their toll, often leading to mental and physical exhaustion and illness. You can experience negative stress in a variety of ways

  • Physically- headache, frequent colds or changes in sleep or appetite.
  • Emotionally- fear, or sadness
  • Mentally- increased anxiety

Dealing with it All

Time Management

As a Cornish student you have A LOT to do. Finding a way to get everything done can be challenging and can lead to quite a bit of stress. Learning how to manage your time so that you can accomplish everything is a skill that will be particularly helpful as a Cornish student. Everyone develops their own approach to better manage time, and here are a few tips to help you

  • ANTICIPATE AND PLAN: You need to have some kind of tool to keep track of your busy life; it could be a calendar, a day planner or even your phone. Whatever you use, it needs to be something you can carry with you, and you also need to be able to see at least a week at a time so that projects, shows or tests don't sneak up on you. Most things take longer than we think they will, so if you think about things in advance and plan for the certainties, you will have enough flexibility in your schedule to handle the unexpected things that come up. Put everything on your calendar... tests and projects, study time, social engagements.
  • BREAK TASKS DOWN: If you have a large project, break it down into ‘bite sized’ pieces. Then make a timeline for when you want to accomplish each of these smaller tasks. Students who procrastinate often comment that when they wait to the last minute to complete a project, they often feel overwhelmed, and the task seems insurmountable. By setting priorities and breaking the bigger project into smaller tasks, the work is more manageable, and less intimidating.
  • CROSS THINGS OFF: Make a ‘to do’ list each week so that you have a plan for what you plan to focus on. This can help you focus when you do have a few minutes of downtime. Also, crossing things off your ‘list’ feels great.


Exercise and physical activity is a great way to relieve stress. It can

  • Boost energy
  • Increase ability to concentrate
  • Make you feel great because your body will produce endorphins, which naturally relieve pain and induce feelings of well-being and relaxation
  • Help you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality

If the thought of “exercise” just doesn’t sound good, change the “E” word to enjoyment! Find activities that you love to do and that match your personality. If you love the outdoors, go hiking or biking. Dancing, gardening, or skating might be your passion.

Here's one way to change the "E" to entertaining!

Taylor Swift - 1988 National Aerobic Championship Opening - Shake It Off


While you might have heard that alcohol or other drugs can help you relax, they can actually cause MORE stress! Think about it, have you ever missed a class, been arrested, thrown up, had a hangover, gotten in trouble, had alcohol poisoning, performed poorly on an assignment or test, gotten into a fight, been hurt or injured, driven under the influence and/or had memory loss because of alcohol? Alcohol and other drugs can cause health, impairment and legal problems that can create a more stressful reality.

Resources at Cornish

Counseling Center

The mission of the Counseling Center at Cornish is to assist students with their academic and artistic pursuits by providing supportive counseling, referrals and outreach programs that promote students’ mental health and emotional well being.

They can provide support through in-person counseling, but they also have TONS of great resources on their website. You can find off-campus referrals and programs as well as stress and time management resources.

Office of Student Life

Stop by the Student Life office and browse the collection of books and other resources you can borrow. We have meditation CD's and books about a variety of topics.