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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

UFS hosts a successful New Music Indaba
2015-08-18

  

Held at the University of the Free State’s Odeion School of Music (OSM), the NewMusicSA’s New Music Indaba 2015 featured works which Clare Loveday described as “breathtaking, discreet, and perfectly balanced.”

Loveday, one of South Africa’s acclaimed music critics and was Composer-in-Residence for the annual Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, attended the Indaba from 21-26 July 2015. In a review of Saturday’s gala concert, she referred to recitals of this nature as an “essential part of the South African musical landscape, providing musicians and composers a space in which to express their world.”

Staff and students of the OSM were extensively involved in facilitating the festivities as a symbol of commitment to South Africa and international contemporary art music. The OSM Camerata under the baton of Xavier Cloete performed two works by South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr well as a work by young Argentinian composer Diego Soifer entitled Mille Regretz .The festival featured music theory lectures, a variety of workshops, roundtable discussions ,concerts as well as an outreach programme.

Loveday described the highlight of her Indaba experience as “A delicate construction of sounds and silences that drew the listener into a focused and intense sound world,” a highlight created by the visiting German composer, Charlotte Seither’s “Far From Distance” for piano, clarinet, and cello. The concert evening culminated with Diale Mabitsela's "Friday Nights at Six," adding to the spectacular nature of the festival.

Throughout the week, classical chamber works featuring South African New Music Ensemble (SANME), the Choir of Christ Church Arcadia, and the Odeion Vocal Consort were performed and well-received. Bringing the five-day event to a conclusion was a choral mass at the Bloemfontein Anglican Cathedral, featuring an “Agnus Dei” written by George T. King.
 
Douglas Scott, Curator of the 2015 Indaba, reflected on it as a great success, saying that, “most of the participants agreed the event was a wonderful opportunity simply to hear different voices from the composition community juxtaposed with one another.”

From Scott’s perspective, the principal goal was to foster communication between artists with different visions, and to reach out to the local community.

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