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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

Pauline Gutter’s metaphorical representations of South Africa
2016-04-07

Description: Thamsanqa Malgas  Tags: Thamsanqa Malgas

Art student, Thamsanqa Malgas views the Purgatorium exhibition at the Stegmann Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus (UFS).
Photo: Rethabile Isaacs

Purgatory is a temporary condition of torment or suffering. This is the central thread of the renowned artist’s exhibition, Purgatorium, at the University of the Free State (UFS). Pauline Gutter’s exhibition was opened by Harry Siertsema on 9 March 2016 at the Stegmann Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The artist, who grew up on a farm in the Free State, is influenced by animals and farm life. “My work is on many levels a metaphorical representation of the violence of current South Africa. Some people want to move away from stigma, others adopt hysteria. The impressive yet vulnerable bulk of the bulls depicted in uncomfortable positions manifests the voiceless and powerless generation of food producers in their daily struggles for survival,” she wrote in the catalogue of the exhibition.

Prof Dirk van den Berg of the UFS Department of History of Art and Image Studies wrote an essay about the exhibition, in which he captures the lived endurance of stress and suffering which Pauline Gutter depicts vividly in Purgatorium.

“The paintings, drawings, and prints in this exhibition have, in various ways, the effect of disseminating the basic tenor of the weaning metaphor of struggle for survival into the farming domains of the land, its creatures, and its people,” said Prof van den Berg.

Art student, Thamsanqa Malgas, was very impressed with the exhibition, saying that it was a fascinating collection, and a must-see for art lovers. The exhibition closed on 1 April 2016.

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