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07 June 2018 Photo Supplied
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

Kovsie Biggest Braai a huge success
2017-08-30

 Description: Braai Tags: Kovsie Biggest Braai, Kovsie, International Student Council 

Prof Francis Petersen, also attending the braai, is here being
interviewed by one of our #KovsieCyberStas, Thuli Molebalwa.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Even though Braai Day is celebrated nationally in September, students at the University of the Free State (UFS) had their own braai day. The Kovsie Biggest Braai was the biggest student community event of the year.

Takudzwa Nyamunda of the International Student Council said the idea for the braai came from the International Student Association as a social cohesion event for international students. “When the idea was presented to my office we realised the potential for such an initiative to be not just for students but for the whole Kovsie community.”  

They realised there were not a lot of social cohesion events on campus where students and staff could just take a day to relax and embrace the feeling of being a Kovsie. He said he believed the braai could provide the right platform. The main objective of this project was to make it an institutional event with aspects of fundraising for the future. 

Colleges made KBB a success 
An estimated 3500 people attended the festivities on Red Square on 12 August. “We used the college format for the braai and it was set in the form of a challenge between the five colleges, but one of the colleges pulled out,” Takudzwa said. The colleges that did participate made a big contribution towards the success of the event and did all the braaing and selling. 

Creating new Kovsie traditions 
The idea behind the pilot project is that it becomes an annual event which in turn will form part of a new Kovsies tradition. “It received endorsement from top management therefore I believe it will form part of the Kovsie calendar for years to come,” Takudzwa said. 

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