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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

First-year students welcomed into Kovsie Family
2013-01-23

 

New first-year students and their parents and guardians are welcomed on the Qwaqwa and Bloemfontein campuses.
Photo: Sonia Small
23 January 2013



   YouTube Video

They came from near and far. Some hail from Bloemfontein, others from as far away as Botswana but they all have one thing in common. They were here to start their first year as Kovsie students. Thousands of first-year students, along with parents and guardians, attended the first year welcoming on the Qwaqwa and Bloemfontein campuses on 18 and 19 January 2013 respectively.

“I do not care whether you come from the Free State or Zimbabwe or whether you are from Gauteng or Lesotho. I do not care if you speak Sesotho, Setswana or Afrikaans. What I care about is that you must understand that you are smarter than you think.”

This was the message from Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), when he officially welcomed first year students to the Qwaqwa Campus. “At the UFS, we put emphasis on two very important projects - the academic and human projects”, said Prof Jansen.

“The academic project is about you excelling academically as a student. It is about being the best you can be in your chosen field of study. All of you should strive to be like Zandile, a young girl from Umlazi who, despite her poverty and challenging conditions at home, went on to attain seven distinctions in her 2012 matric results”, said Prof Jansen. He was referring to Zandile who he tracked down via Facebook to offer her a full bursary to study at the UFS. Zandile had appeared on SABC TV news, expressing her frustration at the lack of funds to continue her studies, despite her performance.

“The human project is about you loving those who are different from you, thus becoming better human beings,” Prof Jansen said.

Prof. Jansen echoed the same message on the Bloemfontein Campus the following day when he welcomed thousands of new students. These students, their parents and guardians packed the huge tent that was erected in the CR Swart parking area of the campus. Prof. Jansen welcomed students from the different faculties during four sessions. He told parents and students that the class of 2013 was the smartest class the university had had in its 109-year history.

Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Students, informed them about the many opportunities that awaited them at Kovsies. These include programmes like the Leadership for Change Programme for first year students and the Stanford Sophomore College Program for second year students.

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