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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

NSH breaking the cycle of poverty
2015-09-28

In was a joyous occasion for the Hlomuka family when their last-born walked across the stage to receive her degree. Spontaneous ululating sounded from the crowd as Nozipo Hlomuka knelt before the Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Dr Khotso Mokhele, who conferred her degree.

“At that moment, I thought ‘this is really and finally happening’,” says the young teacher from Qwaqwa, who received a B Ed degree at the spring graduation.

At that moment time stood still for Nozipo, who once believed that, because of financial difficulties, this day would never come.

Across our three campuses, there are many students in similar positions to Nozipo. As many as 60% of students on our campuses are food-insecure, and suffer from hunger. The No Student Hungry Bursary Programme as established in 2011 to provide food-insecure students with a modest food bursary.

In 2014, just when Nozipo thought she could no longer continue studying, she became the recipient of an NSH-bursary.

Although receiving a degree is a huge achievement for Nozipo, her parents, too, were overcome with emotion, to see the first of their five daughters reach this academic milestone. Having only finished grade 8, Mrs Notula Hlomuka, Nozipo’s mother, says it was important for her to see her children finish school, at least. Mrs Hlomuka sold fruit and vegetables which provided the family’s only income.

“It was not always easy. It was never easy. Sometimes, there was no money and not enough to eat, and your children must go to school hungry. We could not afford new clothes for all the children, and the school uniforms were handed down to the younger sibling ending with Nozipo. Those were difficult days. It’s over now. God provided.”


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