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How to Deal with Being Sick at College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

We’ve all been sick before.  But let’s face it, being sick at college is a lot different when your mom isn’t around to make your favorite soup, or your pet isn’t around to cheer you up.  Being sick at college is difficult, but here are some tips to survive this upcoming cold season!

  1. Have Great Friends

You know who your true friends are when you’re really sick and can barely get out of bed.  My roommate helped me out however she could, and my close girlfriends gave me medicine when they realized that I didn’t have any.  Surround yourself with good friends and you will feel right at home in no time!

  1. Be Prepared

Always have the basics at your side even when you aren’t sick!  This includes, but is not limited to: Advil, Tylenol, Tums, any kind of cough medicine, throat lozenges, and anything else you can think of.  Having to make a visit to CVS while sick is not a great time.  Be prepared ahead of time and avoid the sick trip for meds!

  1. Call Home

No matter how old you are or how mature you think you may be, mom knows best.  Always.  A quick phone call home to mom could be the difference between a cold and pneumonia.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean.  Parents have seen it all and know exactly what to do.  Trust me.

  1. Take a Break

True, you have that midterm to study for, a huge event your sports club is playing in, and the concert you and your roommate can’t wait to attend.  Though it may seem earth shattering for college students to comprehend, when you’re sick, your body is telling you to slow down.  Take the hint and take a break!  The worst thing you can do is go out partying, stay out late, overwork yourself, and end up crashing later.  One of the best remedies to feeling better is sleep, and slowing down your life is a step in the right direction.

  1. Get Help

Your school’s infirmary is a great source for anything and everything health related.  Whether it’s a strep test or needing antibiotics, the health center can really help.  Don’t take the lazy way out, diagnose yourself, and try to continue on that way.  You may be seriously overlooking something, and wouldn’t you want to hear your diagnosis from a professional instead of yourself?  You are only a college student, after all.

  1. Fluids, Fluids, Fluids!

Drink.  A lot.  Seriously, keep that water bottle in your hands at all times.  To meet your daily requirements, shoot for a minimum of approximately 2.2 liters (approximately 9 cups!).  If you are vomiting or have a fever, try to increase your fluid intake to make up for these additional losses of body water.  Soup, tea, frozen ice pops, Jell-O, fruit juices, and sports drinks are good options to maintain your hydration.  Avoid caffeinated beverages, because they cause increased water loss through the kidneys, which works against your goal of staying hydrated.

  1. Missing Class is Okay

Everybody gets sick.  If you truly can’t get yourself to class, it’s okay!  Just make sure to notify your professor beforehand, keep up on your work, get notes from a friend in the class, and focus on getting yourself better so you don’t miss the next class.  There is no reason to push yourself to get to class to risk further getting sick or infecting those around you.  Take a mental day, sit in bed, and relax.  Missing class is not the end of the world.

  1. Sleep

Need I say more?  Who really needs an excuse to sleep more?!  Nothing is better than extra sleep when you’re not feeling well.

Follow these tips to tackle your worst symptoms during this upcoming Winter!  Stay healthy and happy, collegiettes!


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Blake is a senior at Boston College and is pursuing Biology and Pre-Med, as well as the perfect slice of pizza. She is so excited to be a co-Campus Correspondent along with Emily this year! As well as being a writer for Her Campus BC, she is also a member of the Girls Club Lacrosse team, the Public Health Club, and is a physics tutor on campus.
Meghan Keefe is a senior associate on the integrated marketing team at Her Campus Media. While she was a student at Boston College, she was on the HC BC team and led as a Campus Correspondent for two semesters. After graduating and working for three years in public relations, she decided it was time to rejoin the Her Campus team. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Boston and traveling - anything that gets her outside.