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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:

News Archive

Former CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation receives an honorary doctorate from the UFS
2015-07-08

Dr John Samuel.
Photo: Johan Roux

“Having spent the most of my life in public service, it is a great pleasure to receive recognition from the University of the Free State (UFS) for the work that I have done,” Dr John Samuel said in his acceptance speech at this year’s Winter Graduation, where an honorary degree was conferred on him.

The renowned educationalist’s remarkable merit was recognised by the Faculty of Education in the Thursday 2 July 2015 graduation ceremony. Dr Samuel was awarded the honorary doctorate for his enormous role as a national and international strategist in the education system.

The early 1960s proved to be a prelude to Dr Samuel’s lifelong journey as a teacher, policy analyst, administrator, and advisor. In addition to South Africa, he has served with compassion in various countries including Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the USA.

In the dawn of South Africa’s democracy, Dr Samuel served as Head of the Education desk, developing new policies for the field of education and training. One of his many pivotal achievements has been serving the Nelson Mandela Foundation as Chief Executive Officer. Furthermore, South African’s Department of Education has reaped the benefit of appointing him as the Deputy Director-General.

From 1998 to 2000, Dr Samuel was the Senior Programme Director of the WK Kellogg Foundation in the USA.

The Chief Executive Chairman of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls inspired graduates with warm words. “Graduation is a special time for everyone. It is now the time to convert what we have learnt into useful action. We need every pair of hands to help and inspire, and instill hope,” he said.

Rewarding the active role of a national and global leader in education symbolises the university’s commitment to public service, academic excellence, and transformation.


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