After a five-week faculty strike ended on Nov. 19, Ontario’s college students are now back in class. But many have been scrambling to keep up with condensed semesters over the past two weeks, leading some to consider dropping out and receiving a tuition reimbursement before a Dec. 5 deadline.

“It brings more anxiety, brings more fatigue and it just adds a whole new dimension of stress,” Conestoga College student Ahmad Khan told CTV Kitchener, referring to the two hectic weeks he’s spent catching up on missed lectures, assignments and exams. Still, the father of three says he has no plans to drop out of the Kitchener, Ont. school.

“I would lose one year of my life, one year of my planning, one year of my studies,” he said.

Fellow Conestoga student Elliot Nichol plans to stay in school too, but he will also be seeking financial compensation through a Student Hardship Fund that the Ontario government ordered its colleges to create in order to reimburse students up to $500 for unexpected expenses incurred during the strike, such as additional rent, re-booked travel tickets and childcare.

“I’m out of money,” Nichol said. “It’s not fair to take like five or six weeks out and then just not do anything for that. It’s a lot of money.”

Many students, however, say that faculty members have been extremely supportive since returning to work.

“They understand that it’s a stressful time for all of us,” Conestoga student Andrew Spatafora said. “They’ve done a good job of helping us.”

With a report from CTV Kitchener’s Tina Yazdani