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07 June 2018 Photo Supplied
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:

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Students are flocking back to class

Ready for the new academic year. From the left are: Shannan Bohlander and Caden Hendricks.
Photo: Chloe Jansen

Despite the weather, campus is bustling with anxious and excited students. While the first week of classes is underway, some are dashing to and from class and others are catching up with classmates.

Shannan Bohlander, a second-year Psychology student, is greatly looking forward to this new year. “I’m excited about actually going to class!” Caden Hendricks, a second-year Media Studies and Journalism student, says his year is all about prioritising, “I’m excited to see if I can achieve balance this year, whilst at the same time not ‘missing out’ on all the activities on and around campus.”

BComm Accounting honours student, Siya Qinga, says this year is a daunting one for her, “I’m not too sure what I’m excited about, because at the start of the year you hear people telling you that it’s hard [honours], so it gets to the point where you’re very scared, because there’s no one reassuring you on that. So it’s a very confusing time, and you need a whole lot of introspection.”

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