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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

Council approves Transformation roadmap
2007-06-08

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) today (Friday 8 June 2007) approved a comprehensive Transformation Plan in an effort to deepen and accelerate transformation at the UFS.

According to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Frederick Fourie, transformation projects will be undertaken in key areas of university life, such as:

  • the institutional culture of the UFS;
  • the core academic business of the university ;
  • governance and management of the institution;
  • as well as a specific focus on employment equity.

Prof. Fourie said the UFS now has a very comprehensive transformation roadmap of what must be done, when it must be done and who is responsible for implementation.

“In other words, we have a do-able plan of action”, said Prof. Fourie. He said the plan is based on the belief that the UFS should treasure diversity as a source of strength and quality.

The plan is an outcome of several consultative processes, including the work of a Transformation Plan Task Team that was specifically established to do the initial thinking and liaison with stakeholders to map out critical transformation issues.
He said the overarching objective of the plan is to establish the UFS as an excellent, non-racial, non-sexist, multicultural and multilingual university, where all staff and students can experience a sense of belonging.

Prof. Fourie said one of the top priority projects of the plan has already been achieved, namely the approval by the UFS Council of new policy guidelines to increase diversity in student residences.

The new policy guidelines were approved by the Council today (Friday 8 June 2007) and are grounded in an educational approach that is grounded in the benefits of learning and living in a diverse environment.

Other projects outlined in the Transformation Plan include among others:

  • ongoing diversity sensitisation for staff and students
  • an investigation into the possibility of a diversity module for first year students
  • a project to establish the key elements of and ways of cultivating a sense of belonging among staff and students.

In the academic terrain the plan seeks to heighten the responsiveness of the UFS as a research institution specifically with regard to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations as well as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), and the HIV/AIDS pandemic among others. The inclusion of indigenous knowledge systems in curricula as far as is possible will also be investigated.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
8 June 2007
 

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