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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

Ex-Kovsie swimming legend passes away
2013-04-03

03 April 2013

The University of the Free State (UFS) expresses its condolences to the friends and family of former Kovsie and swimming legend, Dr Karen Muir. Dr Muir passed away on 2 April 2013 in Mossel Bay, after battling cancer for a number of years.

Dr Muir enrolled at the UFS in 1971 and completed her MB ChB in 1977. Despite her academic prowess, it was in the swimming pool that Dr Muir achieved even greater acclaim.

Dr Muir was the youngest person ever to hold a world record in swimming or any other international sporting discipline. As a twelve-year old in 1965, she beat the then record time in the 110-m backstroke. After her initial success, she went on to set fifteen more world records in a variety of swim strokes.

During her career she won 22 South African Championships, three United States National Championships and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980.

After matriculating in 1970 from Diamantveld High in Kimberley, she retired from swimming to focus full-time on her medical studies. Since then she practised as a physician in Africa and from 2000 onward, in Canada, after relocating.

“We as a faculty mourn her passing and extend our deepest sympathy to her loved ones, family and friends,” said Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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