How to Recover from the Freshman Plague

It’s that time of the year where the freshman plague is running rampant through the halls of the freshmen dorms. There are people coughing left, right and center; and to top it all off, it’s flu season. When professors don’t count sickness as a valid excuse for missing a class, it can be a struggle to go through the motions of college life. With that in mind, here are some tips to deal with the ongoing epidemic on campus. 

1. Go to the Student Health Center

    It’s the building right behind Clark Hall, and while it may involve a little waiting, they do accept walk-ins in addition to appointments. The Student Health Center is always a helpful resource in times of need and it helps to put your mind at rest when you freak out after diagnosing yourself with a deadly disease you’ve read about on the internet. 

    2. Stock up on cough drops and cough syrup 

    For every time you’re hacking up a lung and feel like your cough has gotten the best of you, it's helpful to have cough drops or your go-to cough syrup handy to calm your throat down a little. Pro-tip: speaking from personal experience, Halls' cherry cough drops are a life-saver. 

    3. Get plenty of sleep 

    When you’re sick, rest is the most important part of getting better as quickly as possible. Make sure to sleep at a decent hour and get at least eight to ten hours of sleep on a daily basis. The more well-rested you are, the better your chances are of getting through the day. 

    4. Reach out to your professors 

    Although some professors may not be willing to forgive a sick leave, more often than not, you’ll find that if you reach out to them and explain your situation, they’ll find it in their hearts to grant you that extension you need. 


    I can’t stress this enough. You may not think you need them, but if you think your mild cough is bad now, wait till it becomes the flu and you feel like you’re on your deathbed. Most universities, including AU, provide free flu shots which should motivate you all the more--as if the risk of getting the flu wasn't enough. 

    Living in such close quarters with people who are sick inevitably leads to getting sick, and being in college without your parents means taking care of yourself, which is as important as taking care of your work. So don’t forget to rest up, go heavy on the self-care, and hydrate!

    Photo Credit: Riddhi Setty