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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

Strydom helps establish SA in international clarinet arena
2016-06-07

Description: Danré Strydom Tags: Danré Strydom

Danré Strydom, clarinet lecturer in
the Odeion School of Music at the
University of the Free State, was
named national chairperson to
represent South Africa in the
International Clarinet Association.
Photo: Odeion School of Music.

Her appointment holds international benefits not only for the University of the Free State (UFS), but also for the rest of South Africa’s clarinet community.

This is the view of Danré Strydom, clarinet lecturer in the Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the UFS, on her appointment as South African chairperson of the International Clarinet Association in Columbus (Ohio), America.

It is no coincidence, therefore, that the OSM, with Strydom at the helm as Buffet artist, will present an international clarinet festival on the Bloemfontein Campus from 4 to 8 October 2016. During the International Clarinet Extravaganza, a first for South Africa, world-renowned clarinet players like Eddy Vanoosthuyse of Belgium, Marco Mazinni of Peru, and Sun Zhen of China, will perform.

More contact with overseas representatives
“South Africa’s clarinet community is fairly distanced from the rest of the world,” says Strydom. “In places like Europe and the USA, it is easy to attend a variety of masterclasses, research opportunities, and clarinet festivals.” Her appointment means that she will have more contact with representatives from other countries. “It is also important for composers from South Africa to have their work performed beyond our borders.”

The purpose of the International Clarinet Association is to support projects that benefit clarinet players. She also writes for the association’s journal.

Strydom, who is completing her PhD this year, was honoured some seven months ago with the elite international accomplishment of Buffet artist. She is the first South African to represent Buffet-Crampon.

Clarinet festival offers additional opportunities
Strydom says the clarinet festival hosted by the UFS is “a wonderful opportunity to put the UFS, OSM, and South Africa on the map for clarinet performance, education, and research.”

The purpose of the festival is to expose South African clarinettists and educators to international trends, and to learn from the best in the world. “The festival will prove that the current education, compositional techniques, standard of players, and the quality at academic institutions can compete with the rest of the world. I also believe it will provide opportunities for students to connect with international players and, in that way, open doors for possible postgraduate studies or concert opportunities overseas.”

Watch videos of Strydom:
Video 1
Video 2

Click here to watch other videos of the OSM.


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