Stress and mental fatigue are a major reason for student’s behavioral changes and attendance drop off according to students and faculty at the University of Guelph-Humber.

As the fall semester reaches its conclusion, students find themselves tasked with numerous major assignments as well as preparing for final exams which begin in December.

Speaking with a few students, not only is this giving them stress and anxiety, but it is also affecting their decisions to attend classes on a regular basis.

Lucas Romano, a second-year business student at Guelph-Humber feels that the current workload he’s tasked with has him feeling less motivated to attend school, in an effort to keep up with his work.

“The stress load is pretty heavy because you are constantly studying or doing assignments and you barely have time for anything else,” Romano said.

Romano also said that it feels physically tiring to go to class because of all the work he is tasked with and the limited time he has to finish it.

This behaviour of stress and lack of motivation is not uncommon for students during this time of the year, with common factors such as sleep disruption, loneliness, and academic responsibilities all playing a role leading to this, according to a study done on factors of stress in students in 2019 by Nicole J. Leblanc, and Luana Marques from Harvard Health.

“Big difference is a drop-off in attendance. I also notice that students seem more tired, less alert, a bit less eager to participate,” said Jonathan Salem-Wiseman, electives professor at the University of Guelph-Humber while discussing the changes he notices in his students from his critical thinking class.

While he does understand the situation students are in, he feels that it is important for students to be well prepared and organized to lighten the burden they may be feeling later on in the semester.

“These days students know in advance when assignments are due and tests happen. Getting work done in advance is a big help, but human nature is such that we tend to leave things to the last minute,” Salem-Wiseman said.

Guelph-Humber does provide ways to assist students with organization and preparation through services such as the Learning Support Peers Program, where other current students can help with exam preparation as well as time management and procrastination.

Jacqueline Anderson, associate director of health and wellness at Humber says that any students who are feeling this way should not hesitate to seek help at Humber North’s health centre.

“We’re here to help support students, to be more engaged in their studies as well as to help them through some difficult times so they are better able to graduate and be as successful as they can be,” Anderson said.

“When people have concerns, or if they need to talk to somebody, the services are here to be responsive and to be available when somebody needs it.”

Anderson said the health centre at Humber North provides many services including health counselling, and psychiatry services which are all free and confidential for students.