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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

Recognition from the United Nations and MACE
2013-11-22

 
The University of the Free State received Excellence and Merit awards for its communication and marketing projects.
From the left is Leatitia Pienaar, editor of Bult magazine, Lacea Loader, Director Strategic Communication, Leonie Bolleurs, editor of Dumela and Ilze Bakkes, UFS Marketer: Publications and Broadcast.
Photo: Sonia Small

The University of the Free State (UFS) was this week recognised by the United Nations (UN), as well as the national association for Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (MACE), for its communication and marketing publications and campaigns.

The UFS was named by representatives of the UN to receive a special United Nations Award for a leadership communication campaign called ‘Talk to me’. The award, which forms part of the Golden Awards of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), is made annually to the campaign that best supports human development in line with the UN objectives.

The UFS also received seven awards from MACE during the Higher and Further Education Excellence Awards. The ‘Talk to me’ campaign was awarded an Excellence Award in the category integrated campaigns and projects; a television campaign on DSTV received an Excellence Award in the broadcasting category. The campaign also received an award as the overall winner in this category. The magazine Bult received a special Excellence Award in the category external publications (as the publication with the highest marks in the history of this award ceremony); the staff newsletter Dumela and a set of student recruitment publications each received a Merit Award in the categories internal newsletters and special publications respectively; and the Open Day campaign received a Merit Award in the category integrated campaigns and projects.

The Excellence Awards form part of the 2013 national MACE congress, which was hosted by the UFS on the Bloemfontein Campus from 18-20 November 2013 and attended by 139 delegates from 25 higher and further education institutions.

“I am extremely proud of the achievements of what is emerging as a truly world-class communications department at the UFS recognised increasingly for achievements nationally and abroad,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

‘Talk to me’, which was implemented in 2010, is a leadership communication campaign that creates a way for staff and students to engage with Prof Jansen. With the campaign, he regularly spends time physically sitting on the university’s three campuses in a predetermined area giving staff and students the opportunity to talk and interact with him. The success of the campaign stems from the fact that it gives him the opportunity to pick up on issues or concerns of the campus community.

“The ‘Talk to me’ campaign is one of the key campaigns of the university’s Human Project, as it projects the scholarship of service and transformation leadership. It is an exceptional honour to be recognised by the UN and to receive this award,” says Lacea Loader, Director: Strategic Communication at the UFS.

“The MACE Higher and Further Education Excellence Awards provide an excellent platform to showcase the many projects and campaigns of the sector, and to receive this kind of recognition from our peers is a tremendous honour for the UFS,” says Loader.


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