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5 Helpful Tips for Dealing with Being Sick During Finals Season

Finals Season is finally upon us, better known as the most stressful time of the year for college students around the world. Professors are giving out assignments like they are presents to be opened on Christmas morning. For most people this time of the year means stress levels are through the roof and self-care routines have gone out the window. For others who are sick, finals season is the absolute worst couple weeks of their lives! Here are a few tips to help deal with finals season if you are fighting a cold or any other illness that one can get just from being on a college campus.


During finals season it is extremely easy to ignore the fact that as young adults we need sleep, just like everybody else. Most doctors and experts recommend that teenagers should try to get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. Obviously, this does not always happen during exam season with late night cram sessions and everything else that college students have to juggle, but when you are sick your body desperately needs rest in order to get better! Try taking naps in between classes (if you can) or getting work done during the day, so you can maintain a semi-normal sleep schedule at night. This is the most important tip for dealing with being sick around finals!

  1. Eat food that is actually good for your body.

It is extremely easy to forget to eat properly while studying nonstop for finals, but if you are sick your body desperately needs proper nutrients to help cure itself. Things like chicken soup or rice and mashed potatoes are always simple, easy go-to’s that any college student could make or have delivered to their dorm (DoorDash and Uber Eats are lifesavers when you’re sick)! Also, drink lots of fluids to help flush out the body of toxins and to keep it hydrated as you try to recover.

  1. See a doctor before you feel worse.

The worst thing you can do when your sick is wait until you feel absolutely horrible to then go see a doctor. It is always key to tunein to your body when you start to feel sick, so you can nip it in the bud before it gets worse. Even if you only have a symptom or two and not the full blown illness yet it is always better to be safe than sorry, so go to the school’s health center and get checked out anyway.

  1. Treat yourself to a little TLC (tender, love, and care)

Although it may cause you more stress, it is really important to take time for yourself during finals season. Whether that means taking breaks in between study sessions (which you should always be doing) or taking a power nap before your next class, showing yourself some love during finals season is key! My favorite self-care tip is at the end of a long day of studying or on a Friday night to stay home, put on a good face mask, and turn on a show or movie that makes you laugh. Stress only makes the body sicker, so it is important to deal with it in any way you know how.

  1. Be kind to yourself

Finals season is a stressful time for everyone, so don’t forget to be kind to yourself every once in awhile. By showing your mind a little compassion through positive reaffirmations, you show your body compassion too. Being sick adds unwanted stress to the body by not allowing you to accomplish all of the work you need to do during finals, so instead of getting mad at yourself for taking a nap or resting instead of studying remember that your body needs to heal. So heal the mind to heal your body and hopefully that will put you on the right road to recovery!

PC – 1,2,3,4,5

Julia Whitman

American '22

Hey I'm Julia and I am currently a freshman at American University! As of right now, I am undecided in the College of Arts & Sciences, but I love science and also gender studies. I am from the suburban town of Westfield, NJ, but I am a city girl at heart and can't wait to spend the next four years in DC!
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