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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

Measures to ensure safer campuses are investigated
2010-04-16

The safety of students, lecturers and staff of the University of the Free State (UFS) is of the utmost importance for the management of this institution and deliberations are continuously taking place on what can be done to improve the levels of safety of the respective campuses in Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa.

A set of recommendations was recently tabled by our rectorate that make provision for various measures for safer campuses. According to Prof. Niel Viljoen, Vice-Rector: Operations at the UFS, attention will urgently be paid to the following recommendations:

  • The instalment of alarm systems, linked to the central security control room, in all buildings on the respective campuses.
  • The instalment of “panic systems” in strategic places in buildings.
  • Where possible, better admission control to buildings, especially office blocks.
  • Better management en integration of contracted-in security workers.
  • Enhancement/upgrading and better monitoring of the security control room and sharpening of reaction times in cases of emergency.
  • Repair and maintenance of the current border fencing.
  • A survey was once again done of all the so-called “dark spots” on campus and the instalment more effective lighting are currently in progress.
  • Safeguarding of footways and parking areas by means of cameras and panic systems that will be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Better and more visible patrolling of the pedestrian walkways and campuses.

Regular and structured feedback regarding the safety situation at all campuses shall also be done.

According to Prof. Viljoen the following recommendations shall also be investigated further:

- The feasibility of the “closing” of the campus, especially in terms of transport implications, costs and effectiveness.
- The possible closing of the small pedestrian gates in order to channel pedestrian traffic through the existing and manned gates.
- The feasibility of the compulsory wearing of ID cards by all personnel, students and temporary workers.
 

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