Feeling stressed during finals? You’re not alone.

students talking in a group

Stress and self-doubt can creep up, especially during finals. You might start doubting yourself and your skills due to difficult assignments or exams. This stress can feel difficult to overcome, especially when confronting challenges you may not have faced before.

Here are a few steps to work through this stress:

  • Acknowledge the thoughts. Acknowledge and label the thoughts as what they are, but do not feed into them or give them space in your mind to exist.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend or mentor. Oftentimes, it is helpful to reach out to someone who knows you and your abilities. Explain your feelings to them and watch how they quickly rebut your claims. If they point out your skills and tell you that you are more than smart enough to get through the semester, believe them.  
  • Don’t let your thoughts control your actions. Don’t shut down as a result of not feeling good enough; instead, use those thoughts to motivate you to work hard and do better.
  • Reframe your thoughts. When you experience these harmful thoughts, try to reframe them as an opportunity to grow. Remember that constructive criticism does not mean you are not talented and needing to ask for help when you need it is the smart thing to do.

A grade that’s lower than you’d hoped for on a difficult assignment does not mean that you don’t belong. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

And remember, help is always available.