Anxiety has become a top concern among college students, affecting about 41.6 percent, according to the American Psychological Association. Along with this percentage, 30 percent of college students reported that stress affected their academics negatively.
With finals right around the corner, you may be feeling more anxious than usual. What can we do to cope with the stress and anxiety, especially with finals being so close?
In my personal experience, I have struggled with the stress that comes along with exams, especially finals. The anxiety is extremely overwhelming, and it would affect me negatively and hinder my academics. To overcome this, I have accumulated some effective ways to cope with my anxiety and perform to my best ability.
Exercise is always an important thing to take part in, as it is great for overall health and for clearing your mind. Regular exercise will help in both the long-term and short-term, as it releases endorphins that make you feel good. When I get overwhelmed, exercise is the last thing on my mind. But after you do it, you will feel so much better and can tackle your workload more effectively.
Another important tip is to be sure to take breaks. Separating yourself from work and school to do something you enjoy can clear your mind and ease overwhelming feelings.
This may include meditating, listening to music or doing any hobby that makes you feel relaxed. If you are skeptical about meditation, Counseling and Psychological Services offers free sessions called “Renew, Relax, Revive,” where you are able to participate in guided meditation and see if it is something you like. These sessions are held from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Mondays and 12:30 to 1 p.m. Thursdays in Ransom Hall Room 310.
Positive self-talk is another good tip when studying. When feeling down or discouraged, reassure yourself that you can accomplish what you want and need. Be sure to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones to keep yourself motivated.
This is easier said than done, but constant positive self-talk will take effect as you start to believe what you say to yourself. Constant self-encouragement can help immensely with feeling confident for finals.
Set aside enough time to prepare. If you start two days before the exam, you will be more stressed and overwhelmed than you would if you started preparing a week before the exam. Organize the material you need to study and make a time line or schedule of what you want to accomplish day by day. This will help with feeling overwhelmed if you know what you need to be focusing on.
During the test, breathe. Know that you are doing the best you can and take your time to answer each question. If you get stuck on a question, skip it and get back to it later. This will help your time management and your confidence.
With these tips, you can ease your stress with finals and help in the long-term, as well. Remember: As college students, we are all in this together, and you aren’t alone with stress. Good luck on your exams!