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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

It takes a village to raise a child
2016-06-13

Description: Valentino_Student Bursary Fund Campaign Tags: Valentino_Student Bursary Fund Campaign

Valentino Ndaba
Photo: Sonia Small

(Click on CC for subtitles)

Video
Student Bursary Fund Campaign booklet (pdf)
Donate
Student Bursary Fund Campaign launched: #FundAFuture and make a difference
Motho ke motho ka batho. A person is a person through others

Want to make a difference in the world? Here is how

South Africa has one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. Take the ribbon of golden beaches sweeping along the shores of KwaZulu-Natal, for instance. But just beyond the kiteboards dappling the ocean and fields of swaying sugarcane lies one of the largest informal settlements in the province: Amaoti. A place where barefoot children are skipping alongside poverty, and violent crime incinerates hope.

Nonetheless, that place could not keep Valentino Ndaba from graduating at the University of the Free State (UFS), and setting her sails for post-graduate studies.

A village
It takes a village to raise a child. This African proverb ripples across Valentino’s life story. “My gran always used to say education is your eternal bread. She still says it to this day. She has always instilled in me the importance of education,” Valentino smiles. Her grandmother has been but one of several champions in Valentino’s life.

Maalthee Dayaram – a teacher at Brookdale Secondary School that Valentino attended – noticed a budding talent in the young girl’s writing. With dedicated attention and ceaseless encouragement, Mrs Dayaram helped pave the way for this young writer. “You might be talented and have potential, but having someone actually believe in you and tell you that you have potential makes such a difference,” Valentino says. “I fell in love with writing, and had an idea that writing might be my future.” Dire economic circumstances threatened to snuff out any sparks of hope from that fragile future, though.

Aided by Lungisani Indlela (a non-profit organisation that provides children in the Amaoti area with school fees, uniforms, shoes, etc), Valentino clung to faith in the power of education. With unwavering single-mindedness, she consistently earned top grades.

Description: Valentino Ndaba 2 Tags: Valentino Ndaba 2

Photo: Sonia Small

Not if, but when
“Dreaming of my future, my gran would always say to me, ‘when you go to university’ or ‘when you have graduated’, this and that will follow.” Her gran’s words proved to be prophetic. As the final matric results were published in early January 2012, Valentino received a phone call that would change her life irrevocably.

That call came from the well-known South African humanitarian, Tich Smith. “Would you be willing to go to university in another province?” Smith asked. Never having travelled beyond her immediate surroundings, Valentino’s brave answer was: “Yes.”

A few days later, she walked onto the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS.

Changing futures

Valentino proceeded to obtain a BA degree in Media Studies and Journalism in 2014. She has now set her sights on an honours degree, and envisions pursuing a Master’s degree in creative writing overseas.

“Without the support I received, I would have been stuck without a future,” she says. “University has shaped me into a better version of myself. I’ve grown intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.”

You can bring about the same change for other students in need. By contributing to the UFS Student Bursary Fund Campaign, you can change the future not only of individuals, but of communities and of our country as well.

The impact of your financial support reaches far beyond its monetary value. It pulls families from poverty. It sends forth experts and visionaries into the world. It sets in motion a culture of giving.

Visit our Giving page for ways to contribute.

 

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