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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

English, Afrikaans, Sotho, and Zulu part of first Literature Festival
2016-08-11

Description: Literature Festival  Tags: Literature Festival

The first Literature Festival was a huge success, attracting
young and old during this year’s Vrystaat Arts Festival held
at the University of the Free State.
Photo: Leopold Frechow

It may have been the inaugural year of the Vrystaat Literature Festival, but, with the success of this year’s event, there are bound to be many more.

Main purpose of the festival

Acting Director of Student Affairs at the University of the Free State (UFS), Cornelia Faasen says: “The main purpose of the festival is to celebrate the South African literary scene as a multi-lingual, multi-cultural landscape, and to bring prominent writers to the UFS in order to open dialogues and discussions with them.”

Because of the students’ role in the arts and culture in general, the Department of Student Affairs wanted them to be involved in the festival too.

Contribution from African writers

Both local and international guests were involved. This year’s theme, “Our Africa”, attracted many African writers too.

Some of these writers include Chika Unigwe, originally from Nigeria, who rose to fame in Belgium, and the Iranian author, Kader Abdolah, a political refugee who escaped from Iran to the Netherlands in the 1980s. Wilfried N’Sondé, originally from the Republic of the Congo, and now living in France, was also a festival guest.

Festival offers something for everyone

Several authors celebrated literature in English. In addition to this, Afrikaans books and writers were featured alongside other indigenous languages, such as Sotho and Zulu.

Faasen says that she hopes that this festival will be the first of many. “We are hoping that this event will find its own legs with more students and academic staff from the UFS involved.”

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