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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

Alleged attacks on students
2008-03-12

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) notes with concern the two alleged incidents of attacks on students on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein

The one incident involves two black female students where a liquid substance was thrown at the students and the other incident involves an alleged attack on a black male student by white male students.

According to reports in the media today (Tuesday, 11 March 2008), the incidents involved students from the Reitz Residential Units. “These incidents, which happened about a month ago, occurred in the vicinity of Reitz, but at this stage I cannot say for certain that students from Reitz were involved in the alleged attacks,” says Dr Natie Luyt, Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS.

Both cases were reported to Dr Luyt and are being investigated by the university’s Protection Services Division. The cases are still under investigation.

“I am concerned about incidents of this nature and strongly disapprove of students behaving in such a manner,” says Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

According to Prof. Fourie the UFS already is in the process of reviewing the disciplinary process for students to make it more streamlined and accessible. “The introduction of a hotline to give students the opportunity to report incidents is being considered. We are also looking at the possibility of appointing an ombudsman for diversity. The recent introduction of a system of full-time live-in residence wardens at men’s residences is also intended to improve supervision. This system will be in place shortly, as soon as the necessary accommodation has been provided,” says Prof. Fourie.

Prof. Fourie has urged students to report any unlawful incidents on campus immediately to the Protection Services Division. “If we do not have incidents on record, proper investigations cannot be conducted,” says Prof. Fourie.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 3422
Cell: 072 207 8334
E-mail: fishera.stg@ufs.ac.za  
11 March 2008

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