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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

Qwaqwa Campus honours academic excellence
2017-05-18

Description: QQ autumn Graduation 2017 Tags: QQ autumn Graduation 2017

Photo: Ian van Straaten

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Qwaqwa Campus kicked off the 2017 graduations season of the University of the Free State in style when over 550 degrees and certificates were conferred in three sessions on 12 and 13 May 2017. These included five PhDs from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

In his maiden speech delivered during the two ceremonies on Friday 12 May 2017, the newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Francis Petersen, emphasised the interconnectedness of graduates with other stakeholders in their communities.

“Never forget the role played by other people who sacrificed a lot for you to be here today. Recognise the extra mile that someone was willing to go for you to graduate,” he said to an enthusiastic audience that included Grade 12 learners from neighbouring schools. 

Prof Petersen also reminded the graduates that not everybody had an opportunity to enter, enrol, and eventually graduate at a university. “You are part of the privileged few, and I am confident that the UFS has given you an equal opportunity to reach your full potential. You have had years of exposure to ideas and experiences on diversity. You now have the opportunity to show the world and to use what you have learnt beyond a classroom,” he added.

“Go out there and open doors for others as much as they were opened for you. I implore you to carry over your experiences of diversity and use them to build a better world. Go out there and build a better world, not only for yourself but for everyone in need. Expand your influence, reach out, and be accountable,” he said.

“South Africa needs your skills,
innovation, knowledge, expertise,
and creativity.”

Make your own unique contribution
The session held on Saturday 13 May 2017 saw the Principal of Motheo TVET College and Qwaqwa Campus alumnus, Dipiloane Phutsisi, having a heart to heart with the graduates from the Faculty of Education.

“Our contribution to the world as graduates will not be measured by the wealth we accumulate or the accolades we receive, but rather by the way in which we share our unique gifts with the world. And the only place to find those gifts is to look within yourself. As the class of 2017, make your own unique contribution,” she said.

“Your graduation takes place at a particularly challenging time in the history of our democracy. It happens at a time when our nation is engulfed by racial polarisation, anger, confusion about what democracy and freedom mean to us, and at a time when the pillars of morality are tested.”

“As you graduate, I wish to remind you that our country needs you more than ever before. South Africa needs your skills, innovation, knowledge, expertise, and creativity,” she said.

Three members of the current SRC were also among the graduates. They are the President, Njabulo Mwali (BSc Information Technology), Sports Affairs Officer, Ntokozo Thango (BA Sociology), and Student Development and Environmental Affairs Officer, Ntokozo Masiteng (BA Sociology).

 

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