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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

Council concerned over health crisis
2009-06-08

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) has come out in support of doctors and health professionals attached to its Faculty of Health Sciences who expressed their concerns about the health crisis in the Free State.

At its meeting on Friday, 5 June 2009 the Council said it shared the concerns of health professionals that the quality of patient care and the quality of training being provided at the health faculties across the country are being compromised.

Earlier last week doctors and other health professionals of the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences issued a statement highlighting the seriousness of the crisis in health care provision in the Free State Province, warning that the system was on the verge of collapse.

According to the Council of the UFS, a petition will be addressed to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education calling for urgent steps to be taken to correct the deteriorating situation in the province’s health care system.

In other decisions, the UFS Council also decided to confer an honorary doctorate on Judge Louis Harms, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Judge Harms is an international specialist in the field of Intellectual Property Law and has been actively involved in legislation and international agreements on intellectual property law, including the Designs Act, Trademarks Act and Patents and Copyrights Acts.

The motivation quotes one of his fellow jurists as saying that: “Harms is one of the greatest South African lawyers of the last 50 years. He is an intellectual giant who has made an impressive and profound contribution to the development of South African law: He is erudite, visionary, astute and principled.”

An honorary doctorate will also be conferred on geologist and expert on the geology of the Karoo Supergroup, Mr Johan Loock, for his distinguished efforts towards promoting the earth sciences and specifically geology, particularly in the context of the Free State.

Mr Loock has had two Karoo fossils named after him, which is a particular honour in the scientific world of palaeontology. He was employed by the UFS for 32 years and has close ties with the Free State in terms of his wide field of research interests.

The motivation further states that “the man affectionately and respectfully known as Oom Loock, or Malome, has selflessly given of his vast knowledge, expertise and insights into the physical and cultural heritage of the Free State to all who would learn from, and with, him”.

A Council Medal will be awarded to Prof. Johan Grobbelaar from the Department of Plant Sciences at the UFS. During his time at the UFS he has been a pioneer in many areas, including the first research expedition to Marion Island, the first PhD about research on Marion Island, the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Sciences as well as the establishment of the Centre for Environmental Management.

Council also decided to refer a report from the iGubu consultants regarding aspects of diversity in student residences to the Executive Committee of the Council so that the benefit of the participation of the rector-designate Prof Jonathan Jansen could be obtained and for further participation and consultation with relevant stakeholders.

In another decision the Council also extended the term of appointment of Prof. Tienie Crous as Dean: Economic and Management Sciences for an additional term of five years.

The Council furthermore appointed Prof. Hugh Patterton as the director of the strategic academic cluster dealing with advanced biomolecular research and Prof. Wijnand Swart as Director of the strategic academic cluster dealing with technologies for sustainable crop industries in semi-arid regions.

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