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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

Anonymous e-mail campaign
2008-03-14

Statement by Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS)

A number of anonymous e-mails have been sent around the country the past couple of days creating a false impression about the situation on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

In the e-mail reference is made to the morning of Tuesday, 4 March 2008 when incidents of intimidation by black students occurred on the Main Campus.

In the e-mail it is alleged that a white girl was attacked at the food court, her clothes ripped from her body, thrown off the Thakaneng Bridge (the university’s student centre) and that she had to run back to her residence. This is not true and if it was the case, the matter would have been reported and would have been addressed immediately.

Allegations of chaos and disorder on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein are also made in the e-mail. This is also untrue. Two peaceful protest marches, for which permission was granted, have already taken place yesterday and today (Thursday, 13 March 2008). These marches took place without any incidents.

I regard this as an anonymous campaign to whip up emotions, destabilise the campus and to instill fear among staff and students who are traumatised by the Reitz video and the repercussions thereof.

I urge parents, especially, not to allow themselves to be upset by such false rumours and e-mails.

All the university’s community, including parents, staff and students must come to terms with the Reitz video in a calm and rational way. The UFS management is intensively busy to manage this situation in the interest of the university and all its people. Academic activities are continuing as normal.


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

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