Tips for reducing finals anxiety

Photo of an individual studying at a desk
Josh Kahen/File

With midterm season still in full swing and finals coming up quick, it’s no surprise that stress levels across the board are at a high. But there are several ways to help mediate the stress that many of us overlook and don’t make enough time for. Here are some ways to help reduce the end-of-semester stress that can make a huge difference if you actually incorporate them!

Make a study plan/schedule 

Even though we’re lucky to have RRR week to study without having to worry about live classes, it can be easy to not use the extra time to your advantage. In order to avoid this, your best bet is to make some type of study schedule or plan. It can be as simple as making a checklist of what you need to do for the day or can even be planned to the hour to fully maximize your time. Whatever you choose, make sure it makes sense for you and is something you can realistically stick to. 

Take time to move/exercise 

In the midst of studying, it can be easy to forget to do anything that is not preparing for finals. Even if you have much to do and are feeling completely overwhelmed, it will still benefit you to take even just 20-30 minutes of your day to get your body moving. Since you are planning your study time anyway, you might as well book a chunk of time for movement and exercise. Whether you do it first thing in the morning to wake you up or use it as an afternoon study break, your body and mind will thank you for moving!

Plan one thing that excites you each day

When it feels like all you have to live for is studying, it can really put you into a bad headspace. Make sure you take the time to plan something you actually enjoy. This is totally up to you and can be anything that brings you enjoyment. Some ideas include getting your favorite takeout for dinner, watching an episode of a show or even scrolling through TikTok for a while. 

Fuel yourself 

It’s easy to forget how essential it is to fuel yourself properly, especially in times of high stress! Making nutritious meals does not have to be complex or time-consuming, but it will make a huge difference in your energy levels and can totally impact how efficiently you work. If anything, make sure you eat something. While fueling your body with the right food is important, it is just as (if not more) important to make sure you are getting enough sleep! Skimping on either of these will just make you feel worse and will not help with study stress.

Remind yourself that everything will be okay 

I get it — it feels like school and grades are all-consuming sometimes. Or that your life will be ruined if you don’t do well on your midterm or final. And yes, it sucks when you put a ton of effort into studying and you don’t end up doing well, but grades are not everything and you will be fine! Try to remember that at the end of the day, all you can do is put forth your best effort. Life will go on, and you will still be a successful individual! Be thankful that a new semester is on the horizon, and once you get through these last few weeks, you get a break! 

There’s no beating around the bush — finals and the week leading up to them are beyond stressful. But there are many ways to be proactive and keep the stress as low as possible!

Contact Jackie Amendola at [email protected].