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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

Farewell to the Class of 2015
2016-12-07

Description:Class of 2015 Tags: Class of 2015 longdesc=


Some of the students from the Class of 2015

The First Year Leadership for Change programme (F1 L4C) hosted its final graduation ceremony for the class of 2015.

Launched in 2010, the programme gives first-year students international exposure to top universities across the world, providing invaluable opportunities to explore the concepts of transformational leadership, global citizenship and social cohesion.

The 32 students and six staff mentors visited various universities which included, New York University, Rutgers University, Edmonds Community College and Washington University ­- all in the US, Mahasarakham University in Thailand and Vrije University in the Netherlands.

Making a change through critical thinking

Pura Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs at the University of the Free State (UFS), challenged the students to think about making a change and to critically think about themselves and how they see the world.

The graduation function, which took place on 16 November 2016, saw the class of 2015 come together to celebrate their accomplishments over the year and allowed the class representative, Tammy Fray, to reflect on all of the valuable lessons learnt.

Special announcement to end the evening

Throughout the evening, representatives from previous years testified to the impact the programme had on their personal development, leadership pathways and their learning communities. The audience was charmed with a song by Stefan Lotter, current chair of the F1 Fellowship Association, and the Delicate Artistry Band.

The evening ended with a special word by Prof Nicky Morgan, acting Rector of the UFS, who convinced by alumni’s testimonies, acknowledged what the exceptional programme had delivered over the past six years. Although it was at the end of its lifetime, he said that in review, ideas emerging from the programme should be explored to give birth to something new.  Watch this space!

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