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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

President of Spelman College delivered Second Annual Reconciliation Lecture
2013-08-12

 

Dr Beverly Daniel Tatum
12 August 2013

Dr Beverly Tatum lecture (pdf)
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The United States have much to learn from South Africa about reconciliation. This is according to Dr Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College, the oldest college for African American women in the US. Delivering the Second Annual Reconciliation Lecture on our Bloemfontein Campus, Dr Tatum –an internationally-acclaimed educator and expert on race relations –said five years after the US elected its first black president, the country still finds it difficult to make peace with the painful truth of its past.

Drawing inspiration from a speech made by former president Nelson Mandela at the adoption of the South African constitution in 1996, Dr Tatum said it requires courage to engage in a meaningful way with those we have been socialised to mistrust.

Dr Tatum highlighted the shooting of the US teenager Trayvon Martin, who was killed in Florida in an incident many attributed to racial profiling. The unarmed Martin, while out walking in the evening to buy a snack, was accosted and shot by neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman who suspected him to be a potential thief. 

“How do we move beyond stereotypes to more authentic knowledge of one another?” she posed the question to a packed Reitz Hall in the Centenary Complex. 

Dr Tatum, author of the critically-acclaimed books, Can We Talk about Race? and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? said we have to be brave enough to have our assumptions challenged. 

“If we want a better society, one characterised by strength, trust and unity, we must interrupt the cycle and there is no better place to do it than at a university like this one, where the next generation of leaders is being prepared. But it requires intentionality. It takes practice.”

During her two-day visit, she also met with postgraduate students from the Faculty of Education to discuss social cohesion at schools. She also took part in a roundtable discussion with educators from the UFS and other universities, deliberating the topicLeading with/for/against differences on university campuses.

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