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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

The book on ‘Reitz’ still not closed
2016-08-12

Description: IRSJ book  Tags: IRSJ book

Prof André Keet, Director: Institute for Reconciliation and
Social Justice (IRSJ) with the authors of Transformation
and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading
Discourses from ‘Reitz’,
JC van der Merwe and
Dionne van Reenen.

A new IRSJ book tackles issues of transformation.

Transformation and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading Discourses from ‘Reitz’ is the first in a series on critical studies in higher education transformation from the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ). In his introduction to this series, Prof André Keet, Director: Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ), highlights why a scholarly work of this nature was necessary: “Acts of resistance against structurally-anchored forms of exclusion within universities in both South Africa and elsewhere suggest that, despite our best efforts, the social structure of the academy … has remained more or less intact over the past several decades.” The book was recently launched during the fifth anniversary reflections of the IRSJ.

Transformation and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading Discourses from ‘Reitz’ explores and expands on the landmark “Reitz” incident. The authors, JC van der Merwe, Deputy-Director at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) and Dionne van Reenen, researcher and PhD candidate at the IRSJ, offer insights on how this incident and the events surrounding it represent a recurring pattern that continues to underpin many processes in post-apartheid South Africa.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Chair of the Advisory Board of the IRSJ, and Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, says of the authors: “The courage of their convictions is reflected in this book. They have played, and will continue to play, an amazing role in shaping the discourse around transformation.”

Jamie Turkington, former editor of the IRAWA Post during the time of the ‘Reitz’ incident and facilitator during the five-year anniversary function, says: “This book will be beneficial for every student and every person involved in the University of the Free State since 1980 till now to read and absorb the valuable points therein. If you thought Reitz was over, it shouldn’t be; it is as relevant today as ever.”

"If you thought Reitz was over..."

Turkington adds that the book will serve as a “worthwhile conversation starter at UFS”, raising such questions as:
• How much legitimacy was the UFS able to acquire internally, within the university community, as well as in society at large?
• How do we chart a way forward from here?
• How do we keep the progress going?

As the book itself says: “Reitz serves as a reminder to higher education practitioners that our humanity is fragile in terms of who we are and what we can achieve. Transformation and legitimation, and the way higher education institutions handle these going forward, promises to be seminal in the foreseeable future of the sector.”

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