It's only been one week since Ontario College students have returned to the classroom after a long and bitter 5-week-long college strike that put a major wedge in their semesters.
And with only a handful of make-up classes in the books since the strike ended, Ontario colleges are already preparing to start end-of-year examinations for their students, leaving many feeling incredibly anxious and overwhelmed about the future of their semester and, in some instances, their academic careers.
Since the strike has ended, it's not been uncommon to hear students airing their grievances about the insane workload that has suddenly dropped on their plate. Not only do they have exams to worry about in the coming weeks, but other students are required to submit papers and give presentations worth over 20 per cent of their final mark.
"In the next week, I have five exams worth 30 per cent of my whole grade, along with a 20-minute presentation worth another 20 per cent there," said one Seneca college student to CBC Toronto. "Overly stressed, that's an understatement."
Meanwhile, other students are feeling overwhelmed and anxious as they try to learn 5-weeks worth of material in less than half the time. "A lot of students are super anxious this week, doing reviews in class, no one knew what was going on," said one George Brown College construction management student.
And while most students are very concerned about doing well this semester with what little time they have left, others are contemplating if continuing with the semester is even worth it.
According to students at various Ontario colleges, a lot of their classmates and friends have decided to drop out and receive their full tuition refund. A lot of people are dropping out. Colleges like George Brown have given students till December 4 to decide if they are staying in or dropping out of the program.
Although some students are trying their best to stick out the semester due to a variety of factors (including application deadlines for jobs or continued education programs), other students have found the anxiety of the condensed semester that is infringing on their school breaks to be anxiety-inducing and intolerable.
With anxieties and tensions rising, many college students have been seeking help from their college counselling centres and academic advisors. "We have a lot of students coming in with anxiety," says Tenniel Rock, who manages counselling at George Brown. "That's been the biggest thing — anxiety and stress."