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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

UFS researcher fills void in South African policing history
2017-01-02

Description: Dr Cornelis Muller Tags: Dr Cornelis Muller 

Currently a Postdoctoral fellow in the International
Studies Group, Dr Cornelis Muller’s PhD thesis explores
late nineteenth century South African policing on the
Witwatersrand.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

“I used policing on the Witwatersrand as a lens through which to examine aspects relating to state formation within the South African Republic.”

This is how Dr Cornelis Muller, a postdoctoral fellow in the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State (UFS), described his PhD thesis called Policing the Witwatersrand: A history of the South African Republic Police, 1886-1899. The thesis fills an empirical void in the history of settler colonial policing in South Africa.

His research was also featured in the South African Historical Journal, which is published by Routledge. Dr Muller received his PhD from the UFS during the 2016 Winter Graduation ceremonies. He received a scholarship from the university to conduct his three-year research.

Relationship between police and state examined

The study presents itself as an institutional biography in which the relationship between the South African Republic Police (known as the Zarps), the state, and broader society are examined. The period under investigation was a time when political, economic, and social complexities on the Witwatersrand created tension between South Africa and Great Britain.

An important theme throughout the thesis is the relationship between the police, the mining industry, and the so-called Uitlander community. Crime was also an important contributing factor to the complex relationship that developed between the Zarps and the policed in Johannesburg’s formative years.

“Johannesburg was a town under siege by a variety of crimes which ranged from vagrancy, drunkenness, gambling, and prostitution to robbery, murder, and assault,” said Dr Muller.

Archives in South Africa and Great Britain consulted
“My thesis follows a chronological approach in which various themes accounting for the development of the police on the Witwatersrand are highlighted.” Framed within the bureaucratic and administrative functioning of the Zarps, he examined aspects relating to crime, crisis, and conflict between the police and society. The thesis also details the relationship between the police and Johannesburg’s black community.

As with any historical research, it comprised internal and external source criticism and content analyses of a wide range of archival records.

Dr Muller had the opportunity to visit several archives and libraries in South Africa and Great Britain. “Some of the more important archival collections were assessed at the National Archives in Pretoria.” These included the Archive of the State Attorney and the Archive of the Magisterial District of Johannesburg.

“My study thus adds to scholarship that seeks to provide a more nuanced understanding of the South African Republic’s administrative functioning and internal politics in the late nineteenth century,” concluded Dr Muller.

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