Some students may cope by pretending that nothing happened, or by diving into schoolwork, but others – because they're at an age of impulsivity – might cope by withdrawing or abusing alcohol. Some students may express their grief through emotional behavior while others may try to internalize it and not talk about it, Fuchs said. Those students will likely experience headaches and sleep disturbances.
George Everly, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the degree to which students are affected by death depends on their proximity to it, how well they knew the victim and how strongly connected they are to the school. Signs that they're having trouble adjusting include anger, regression and unusually poor academic performance.
While BU students are resilient, Riley said, faculty has accommodated those who need extra time to complete assignments in these final, emotional final weeks of the semester.
Students organized a vigil for the latest BU community loss last night, where Riley heard a new take on "Boston Strong," the motivational phrase that has been splashed everywhere from buses to T-shirts since the marathon.
He heard someone say "Boston University Strong."