How to Do College When You’re Sick

The semester is quickly coming to a close, and while many are rejoicing, some are stuck in their beds sick. Most of us college kids get sick as the semester comes to a close because of all the stress and all-nighters that we pull. We talked to some professionals who gave us advice on how to keep ourselves healthy during the most stressful time of the year. 

Photo by Evangeline Murphy

Her Campus UWF spoke to both Therese Ritchie, the associate director, and Dr. Jason Strahan, the medical director at Student Health Services to see how best to take care of yourself when you find yourself getting sick during school.

Theresa Ritchie

Dr. Jason Strahan

Her Campus UWF: What would be your number one tip to protect yourself from getting sick?

Therese Ritchie: Avoid close contact with sick people and hand hygiene, washing your hands, is a great way to prevent infections.

Dr. Jason Strahan: Hand sanitizer works well, too.

HCUWF: Once you get sick, what should you do in order to get better quicker?

TR: If symptoms are severe, seek immediate medical attention. Keep your body healthy – eat and drink healthy things, get enough sleep, approximately 7-9 hours a night, and exercise regularly.

HCUWF: I heard that stress can cause you to get sick. Is that true?

TR: Research shows that almost every system in the body can be influenced by chronic stress. When chronic stress goes unreleased, it suppresses the body’s immune system and ultimately manifests as illness.

Dr. JS: Make sure to seek help for chronic stress, though.

HCUWF: How should someone juggle school if they’re sick? (Should they stay home? Try to make it to class?)

TR: Stay home.

Dr. JS: Yeah, stay home until your fever goes away and you’re feeling better.

HCUWF: Is there a better remedy than resting and getting fluids? Or is that really it?

TR: If symptoms persist or get worse, it is important to seek early diagnosis and treatment by a licensed medical provider.

HCUWF: Are vitamin C supplements good to take?

Dr. JS: It’s fine to take supplements, but it’s better to get vitamin C from natural sources, and the supplements don’t take the place of eating foods with vitamin C. Plus, your immune system works out better on its own. But before you take anything, make sure to talk to a doctor first.

HCUWF: Do you have any other advice or tips?

TR: In the US, flu season occurs in fall and winter. And the CDC recommends and yearly flu vaccine. Student Health Services offers one for $19.

And, as mentioned before, make sure to keep your body healthy. Eat and drink healthy, get enough sleep each night and make sure to exercise regularly.

Cover image via The Odyssey 

Evangeline Murphy is currently studying to get her BA in English: Creative Writing at University of West Florida. You can usually find her in her room, under a fluffy blanket watching Disney movies or reading. She hopes to use to degree to be an editor. Being paid to read is the dream.

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