November 8, 2012|Virgil Devereaux
A STUDENT HAS DIED from stress and exhaustion not long after compiling a reference list which may have taken five hours to complete.
The student, whose parents wish for him to remain unnamed, was a third year Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Melbourne. He had finished a 2,500 word case study for a Media and Communications subject for which he had done extensive research. The student was found collapsed at his desk.
“He called me . . . before and said he had finished the case study and had been doing his reference list for about three hours, and said that he would call once it was complete. He never called, and so we became anxious.”
Sandra said that her son was an intelligent and high-achieving student, who always went above and beyond what was expected for him from his lecturers.
“This time he just worked too hard . . . The case study itself was taking two weeks, and he picked a difficult subject. I don’t think he slept that night either, so the reference list must have been the . . . finishing blow.”
It is speculated that when the student had finished the list, he had rested for a moment at his desk, where he died in sleep from exhaustion and stress. An autopsy report not only indicated that he died of exhaustion, but also that he was malnutritioned and dehydrated. His parents said that he was not eating properly due to study-related stress.
The reference list was 33 items long and he was using the Harvard referencing system.