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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

UFS praised for hosting international research development programme
2013-03-05

 

At the farewell function were, from the left: Dr GansenPillay (deputy executive officer of the NRF), Emile Goofo (Cameroon), his son Tylio in the arms of Prof Nicky Morgan (Vice-Rector: Operations), Avelino Mondhane from Stockholm University (originally from Mozambique) and Prof Neil Heideman (Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences).
Photo: Leatitia Pienaar
05 March 2013

“I must congratulate the University of the Free State on doing something like this,” Dr Gansen Pillay said at the farewell function for the participants in the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) at the UFS.

The 19 young scientists from 16 countries completed their three-month programme at the end of February 2013. As another step in the process the participants must write articles for reputable journals and complete their doctoral studies. Their performance in the research world will also be tracked.

Dr Pillay, deputy executive officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), said an investment was made in the researchers to secure the future of the programme. A lot of persuasion and proof was necessary to convince the Austrian Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) that a programme of this nature could be presented in Africa.

The SA-YSSP was hosted and managed by the UFS. The programme was developed by the NRF in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IIASA into a novel and innovative initiative.  The official launch was by the Minister of Science and Technology during November 2011.

The SA-YSSP will be an annual three-month education, academic training and research capacity-building programme. Aligned with the YSSP model, annually presented in Austria, the SA-YSSP offered scientific seminars covering themes in the social and natural sciences, often with policy dimensions, to broaden the participants’ perspectives and strengthen their analytical and modelling skills, further enriching a demanding academic and research programme.

Prof Martin Mtwaeaborwa, SA-YSSP deputy dean, said the academic performance of the young scientists superseded the expectations. “I hope the scholars will look back at the programme as the moment their careers began.”

The added, “The UFS received positive remarks for organising the programme and we hope to get it again in future.”

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