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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

Mafuma aims at elusive tournament victory with Junior Springboks
2016-06-03

Description: Mafuma Tags: Mafuma

The University of the Free State’s Mosolwa Mafuma
recently scored five tries in the Junior Springboks’
three practice matches against a Golden Lions U20
invitation team, a Maties team, and the
South Western Districts. Photo: SASPA

He has never won a rugby tournament, so Mosolwa Mafuma has only one goal: to win the Junior World Cup as Junior Springbok in England.

Even though the 20-year-old Shimlas wing has achieved success, and it is pleasing to excel individually, he believes it is more satisfying when his team triumphs. According to Mafuma, who could just as well be an athletics star, he wants to help the South African U20 team take a different approach.

He and the prop Kwenzo Blose are players from the University of the Free State who will represent the Junior Springboks from 7 to 25 June 2016 in Manchester. The team will play the first of three group matches on 7 June 2016 against Japan in the Academy Stadium.

New approach for SA U20 team
Mafuma, who was Player of the Tournament in his first Varsity Cup in 2016, says the Junior Springboks are well prepared. “We have the skills, and the structures at the Junior Springboks are different than before. There is not just one game plan like playing with big guys. We want to try new things and have a different approach.”

It is with this team that he wishes to achieve something. “It is one thing to be able to say that you are the Player of a Tournament, but your team did not win. I have not won something at school (with St. Benedict’s Boys College in Johannesburg) or this year with the Shimlas.”

Speedster on athletics track
The speedster is one of only a few rugby players who also have a profile on the IAAF website. His fastest time in the 100 m is 10.37 seconds (a national U17 record) and 20.37 s in the 200 m.

In high school, this first-year Psychology student played rugby during winter and took part in athletics during summer. Only at the end of Grade 11 did he started focusing on rugby. “I was more of an athlete than a rugby player,” he says.

It is no coincidence that the nickname he acquired due to his speed, is Dash. His other nickname, Senkie (derived from the Afrikaans word ‘seuntjie’) he received as a child from his parents because he was such a small child.

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