How to cope with finals stress

Photo courtesy of Stanford University

Finals Week is here at Eastern New Mexico University, and it’s probably the most overwhelming week for any college student with stress and anxiety, especially if you’ve been working extremely hard to stay afloat in your classes. Here’s a few tips that will help you survive the week.

Organize your schedule

During finals week, it’s very important to plan and organize your schedule as much as you can. Write out your week and plan days and times when you’ll study. Make a map of everything you have to get done, including studying, breaks, final test times, and everything else you need. It’s also a great idea to organize your notes, use sticky notes or highlighters to do this.

Study ahead

Do not wait until the night before an exam to study. You’ll more than likely overwhelm yourself and be a complete mess. Studying at least two days before the exam should ease the tension and help you remember more of the content. Another great tip is to study on the go, take photos of your notes on your phone, and as you walk to class, review them.

Find a good place to study

Some people can study well in groups while others prefer to study by themselves. Figuring out what works best for you is a good idea. If you prefer studying in a group, maybe ask some friends in class to meet up sometime at the library. Or if you prefer to study alone just find a place that you enjoy, maybe the library, a café, or even your bedroom. Either way just find a place that you can focus and be productive in.

Calculate your grade if you’re worried about not passing a final.

If you’re worried that you won’t pass a final, calculate your grade to figure out where you stand in the class and what grade you’ll need on the final to pass. This can also help you dictate how much studying and what all you need to study.

Remember to take care of yourself

Make sure that while you’re prepping for finals, you’re allowing yourself time to eat, stay hydrated, sleep, and relax. It’s important to give yourself breaks between studying, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Maybe go for a car ride or watch some Netflix for 30 minutes. Just make sure you’re not pushing yourself to study for a whole five plus hours. This can be extremely unhealthy.


Finals week sucks but staying positive and believing in yourself is an absolute must. Setting goals and working hard towards them will pay off in the end. So, don’t stress, relax, and remember that you can do anything you put your mind to.

The following are tips from fellow ENMU students:

Jayci Nigreville said, “Finals is a stressful time and so I always like to make daily lists. That way the amount of things to study for and prepare for is not crazy, and I’m not cramming last minute. About three weeks before finals I’ll make a list of everything that needs to get done and then make smaller lists for each day until each task is complete. This makes the stress of studying for all my classes a little easier to manage.”

Another student, Lidia Baldonado, said, “It’s all about preparation. I found that the best way to cope (with finals week) is to make sure that you do enough studying over the course of a longer period of time than trying to cram a bunch of information in at the last minute.”

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