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I really, really love myself: 5 ways to boost self-esteem during finals

A folder and book on a table in Momo Lolo’s Coffee House in Fort Collins
Relishing the challenges of finals can help boost self-esteem.(Nick Botkin | Collegian).

Finals can make you feel like you know nothing.

You might feel unable to memorize important ideas. You might have troubles grasping specific concepts. But there are ways to overcome this malaise. A little sense of self-esteem can be immensely helpful. 


Here are a few ideas to help boost that self-esteem.

Relish the challenge of finals.

Finals are a challenge. Make no mistake, memorizing a semester’s worth of material makes family reunions look fun. Instead of being daunted by the challenge, relish it. Think of it as an opportunity for maturity and profound growth. Perhaps the old you would have run from the tests, screaming in panic. There is a new you at the helm now.

Remember the end goals too. These exams may help you with your long-term goals. So, remind yourself of the person you want to become. Think of the tests as a pesky stepping stone to that end.

Remind yourself of your strengths.

This is not just an excuse for a feel-good moment. The end of a semester is a time to assess your progress as a whole. It is an opportunity to prepare for the next one as well. 

Do not shy from the weaknesses, but remind yourself where you excel. So maybe you cannot talk about limiting reagents at a professor’s cocktail party. But perhaps you are an acrobat with words, penning prolific works of fiction or poetry. Remind yourself of these strengths during paroxysms of self-doubt.

Also remember that grades are an objective thing. They are cold numbers and in no way reflect your own unique intellectual strengths. Yes, you might have flubbed a few tests in the past, but those numbers do not define you. 

 Finals relief options

 LSC Late Nite

When: May 6th-9th

What: 50% off food during extended dining services hours, 7 Pm-midnight.

50% off coffee at Sweet Sinsations and Intermissions from 7 Pm-10 pm.

Hang out with friends or family.


Friends and family can remind you of your strengths and unique qualities, perhaps in ways you might not recognize. Spend some time with them. Get together to talk and have coffee. Do not let this distract from studying, but a break is absolutely necessary from time to time.

Bonus: You can listen to your friends tell their own horror stories about studying for finals. 


Just outlining the upcoming deadlines and exam schedule can be helpful. You can feel like you have accomplished something by organizing this information. And you have. Having these schedules delineated will give you an idea of how to prepare. Preparation is a significant baby step en route to success.

Shake it off.

Get up and do something physical. That might just fill you with a rush of confidence and physical release. Do something fun and goofy. Turn on your favorite piece of music and dance around, like Tom Cruise in “Risky Business.” Or even sing a song to calm yourself, like Adam Sandler in this scene from “Anger Management.

And yes, hopefully, you will feel pretty and witty.

Collegian reporter Nick Botkin can be reached at and on Twitter @dudesosad.

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