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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

Community Engagement Indaba a platform to engage Free State community stakeholders
2016-12-14

Description: Community Engagement Indaba  Tags: Community Engagement Indaba  

Teaching women handicrafts for self-sustainability.

The University of the Free State (UFS), through the office of Community Engagement and in collaboration with Bloemshelter, has hosted the Community Engagement Indaba in Bloemfontein since 2013. This is a platform where stakeholders in business, welfare and other community organisations can network and hold dialogues that can bring about solutions to some of the societal challenges faced by Free State communities.

Bloemshelter is an independent and registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation that provides shelter for the homeless; catering for women, women with children, the elderly, men and frail persons. The shelter accommodates up to 100 people in both the male and female shelters. The growing partnership it has with the UFS over recent years has grown its ability to reach out to local communities in a more effective way.

At the 2016 Community Engagement Indaba on 25-27 August, a number of stakeholders were invited to participate in the skills development action-learning workshops, under the theme: Unlocking Human Potential and Creating Jobs. This was a platform to strengthen the university’s partnerships with NPOs and other advocacy groups in the province. UFS academics, Community Service Learning students and community partners gave their presentations while the Director of Community Engagement, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, offered carpentry training. Among the participating collaborators was the Free State Department of Education, Celebrate Recovery, ABSA Bank, The Shunammite Foundation, Lebone Village, and Global University of Lifelong Learning (GULL).

Those who attended received certificates that will in future help them build a portfolio of learning evidence. The conference was about creating meaning, igniting learning, propelling movement, inspiring hope and encouraging sharing by bringing together students, academics and members of communities. The next Community Engagement Indaba will be held next year, on a date that will be announced early in the year.

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