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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

An incident-free recess for the UFS
2010-07-19

The improved security measures at the University of the Free State (UFS) have resulted in an incident-free recess on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the annual Volksblad Arts Festival.

The UFS provided accommodation for international spectators visiting the country for the World Cup and recently also hosted the hugely popular Volksblad Arts Festival without any security glitches.

These successes could be attributed to the hard work of staff members from various divisions at the UFS to ensure that the security was improved.

“The main question we had to deal with was: should our Main Campus be fenced off? This matter had been under discussion for quite some time. In order to ensure the feasibility thereof, a second impact study was done by a consulting engineer,” said Prof. Niel Viljoen, Vice-Rector: Operations at the UFS.

“This study has shown that, given the nature of activities on the campus and the access configuration, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to effectively control access to the campus, especially as far as visitors were concerned. Any type of access control measure would result in delays at the gates, which could have a major impact on the traffic flow, delays, costs and emissions.”

“It is important that our staff and students feel safe on the Main Campus, whether they are walking on campus or working in their offices. In that way we can ensure an environment that is conducive to staff and students to work and study,” he said.

Various measures are being implemented to make the campuses safer. These include, among others:

  • The installation of alarms in buildings on the Main Campus. The project for the South Campus has been completed and the installation of a new alarm system on the Qwaqwa Campus will start soon.

     
  • Staff and students will be required to wear identification cards once the new identification system has been put in place. These cards will allow access to all buildings.

     
  • Fences around the Main Campus are being repaired and the areas around these fences are being cleaned. This project should be completed by August 2010.

     
  • Lights will be installed in badly lit areas on the Main Campus. The first phase of this project includes the area between the Mooimeisiesfontein, Welwitschia and Vergeet-my-nie residences. This project will also be completed by August 2010.

     
  • The walkways on the Main Campus will be patrolled more frequently and effectively.

     
  • Contracted security workers will be utilised more effectively.

     
  • The monitoring of security cameras on the Main Campus on a 24/7 basis. “For this purpose the security room of our Protection Services is in the process of being upgraded,” said Prof. Viljoen.

The possibility of placing security cameras and panic buttons in parking areas and walkways is investigated.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
16 July 2010

 

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