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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

Louzanne Coetzee heading for Paralympic Games in Rio
2016-08-02

Description: Louzanne Coetzee  Tags: Louzanne Coetzee

Louzanne Coetzee (left) from the University of the
Free State and her guide Khothatso Mokone, a former Kovsie,
will compete in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016.
Photo: Rufus Botha

Her perseverance and faith. Faith in herself and her coaches, as well as her Christian faith. Rufus Botha says this is what makes the Paralympic athlete Louzanne Coetzee special. According to her coach, the 23-year-old star from the University of the Free State (UFS) is easy to work with. “Her work ethic is incredible. As coach, I actually have to stop her,” he jokes. “She does not like to rest.”

On 19 July 2016, Coetzee was included in South Africa’s Paralympic team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She and her guide Khothatso Mokone, also a former Kovsie, were included in the team that will participate in Rio from 7 to 18 September 2016.

Sights still set on 2020 Olympics

In Brazil, Coetzee will compete in the T11 category in the 1 500 m. The blind athlete is also outstanding in the 800 m and 5 000 m, of which she is the world record holder, but these items do not feature at the Olympics.

Botha says Coetzee has her sights still set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. “Anything she achieves in Rio will actually be a bonus.” He says it was an achievement on its own to be included in the SA team among established athletes such as Arnu Fourie and Ilse (Hayes) Carstens.

CUADS super proud of record-breaker

“Anything she achieves in Rio
will actually be a bonus.”


“Louzanne is an absolute star and an example to so many Kovsie students,” says Martie Miranda, Head of the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) at the UFS. “We are super proud of her.”

On 17 July 2016, Coetzee set a new Africa record (5:00:25) in the 1 500 m in Berlin. She will leave for Rio on 30 August 2016, with her heat taking place on 15 September 2016 and the finals on 17 September 2016.

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