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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

Food insecurity at university campuses a growing threat
2015-07-28

Food insecurity on university campuses in South Africa has come to the fore as one of the more pressing subjects that needs to be tackled to ensure the continuing education of disadvantaged students across the country.

On Friday 14 August 2015, the University of the Free State will host the first higher education colloquium on food insecurity on university campuses.  The one-day colloquium will take place during the Arts and Social Justice Week, in collaboration with the UFS’s Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice Best practices will be shared, exploring the available research on student food insecurity at institutions of higher education.

Food insecurity has emerged as a pressing social justice issue affecting students countrywide. Action needs to be taken to promote the academic success of students, who will ultimately contribute to the country’s economic growth. One of the primary focus areas of the colloquium will be to establish a common practice to address this need.  Universities leaders, staff from wellness and social work departments, and SRC members from across the country who have been invited, and are expected to attend, are the University of Pretoria, the Tshwane University of Technology, North West University, UNISA, and the Central University of Technology.

Professor Jonathan Jansen will participate in a panel discussion alongside Ruda Landman and Prof Edelweiss Wentzel-Viljoen (HPCSA). This promises to be an inspiring meaningful dialogue, by asking the difficult question:  How do we change the food insecurity situation at universities?

The University of the Free State is currently the country’s leading university in addressing food insecurity on all its campuses through its flagship No Student Hungry Bursary programme, which has funded more than 500 students since it was established in 2011.

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