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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

Childhood passion becomes a successful career
2016-12-19

Description: Dr Thapelo Makae Tags: Dr Thapelo Makae 

Dr Makae took up his studies at the South Campus
of the UFS, and now serves as a community vet in Tshwane.
Photo: Anja Aucamp


Dr Thapelo Makae’s youthful passion has been a driving force in his chosen career. He says: “Like any veterinarian, my love for animals started from childhood. Growing up, I always asked myself why animals didn’t have doctors like we kids did, when our pets fell ill or died.” While veterinary services were unknown where he was raised in the Phelindaba location in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, Dr Makae started doing his own research as early as Standard 1 (Grade 3). He affirms, “I’ve always wanted to help these creatures that, it seemed, no one could help.”

Having started his academic journey on the South Campus in the CPP (as the University Preparation Programme was then known), Dr Makae obtained an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, later completing an honours degree in Agriculture. “It was at this stage,” he says, “that I was recruited by Prof Johan Greyling and the late Dr Luis Schwalbach. With their support, I completed my MSc Agric, besides having the opportunity to be a junior lecturer in Animal Physiology. Dr Schwalbach was my supervisor, my mentor, and a veterinarian himself, and I worked very closely with him. He encouraged me to pursue my passion and the dream to go ahead and study Veterinary Medicine.”

Realising that dream, Dr Makae is now employed at the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as a community veterinarian. Among his many responsibilities, he is charged with serving the communities of the Tshwane Metro, where he visits farmers, assisting them with health and vaccination plans, and providing advice to help them develop their skills.

Dr Makae also seeks opportunities to pass on his dream. “What I am most passionate about is going to schools and giving talks to schoolchildren, especially those from previously disadvantaged communities, who might not know much about Veterinary Medicine,” he says.

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