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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

First-years welcomed to the Kovsie family
2017-01-30

Description: Prof Francis Petersen  Tags: Prof Francis Petersen

Newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the
University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen during
the first-year welcoming.
Photo: Charl Devenish

“How do you like my new blazer? Do you think these stripes suit me?” These were the words of the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen, as he took to the stage in his #ProudlyKovsies blazer to welcome the 2017 first-years to the Kovsie family.

The event, which was also the start of the first-year Gateway Programme, took place on Saturday, 21 January 2017, and saw first-years and their parents make their way to the Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus where they were formally welcomed.

UFS to produce world graduates
As newcomers, Prof Petersen wanted the fresh faces to feel welcome, to feel a sense of belonging. “You are now a Kovsie, and we want you to experience that Kovsie life until you graduate,” he told them.

During his speech, Prof Petersen reassured parents that the academic year would be completed and that the UFS would operate as an institution. He encouraged the students to absorb and gain knowledge and said the university would strive to ensure excellent knowledge. “At the UFS, we want to produce graduates for the world, and we need to ensure that we use our knowledge to uplift society,” he said.

Use differences to benefit from one another
KovsieFM presenters, Tshwaro Thothela and Gontse Choane played host to the gathering and Pura Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs, encouraged the first-years to use their differences to benefit from one another and to learn from this opportunity. “Make sure that the good that you do is for yourself, for others and for the university,” he said.

Prof Nicky Morgan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector, welcomed Prof Petersen, his wife Cheslyn, and their two sons, Curtis and Clayton, to the UFS.

The newcomers also had an opportunity to visit their respective faculties and get to know the staff and facilities better.

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