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The Silver Lining of Being Sick

The end of the year is a glorious time. Spring sets in, the weather gets a little warmer, more people are outside, more darties happen, we can see the light at the end of the finals tunnel, all good things. But there is one not so good thing that happens every year across campus in the spring—everyone gets sick. For whatever reason, the transition from winter to spring always seems to bring some weird bug that goes around knocking people out left and right. Usually, I avoid this inconvenience, but, alas, three weeks from graduation, and four days before my first half marathon and my body decides that it’s cool to go and get a viral infection. Super fun.

As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for the panic to set in and I simultaneously cursed my immune system and everyone around me who was sick. This may seem a little over the top, but I hate being sick or anything less than feeling 100%, and I never said I was rational. But, regardless of the frustration and anxiety that my illness brought on, I think being sick gave me a few important lessons I had been missing for the last three years.

It’s important to listen to your body.

Because I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I was being extra aware and sensitive to what my body was telling me and how I was feeling. Most of the time I have a complete lack of regard for my body’s signals and don’t usually give it the attention it deserves. But this is important for our everyday lives! It’s so crucial to pay attention to these signals when your working out or eating or just living because your body is designed in such a way that it just knows what it wants and what it can and cannot do so your best bet to staying healthy is to follow its cues.

Sometimes even Emergen-C can’t save you

Some things are out of your control.

I had trained for my first half marathon for four months and had taken care of myself and gotten enough sleep and prepared for it, and still managed to get sick. I kept replaying my choices for the past weeks over and over again and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. Sometimes things happen, and it’s not your fault, and it’s not anybody else’s fault. They just happen. I forget this all the time because I’m constantly trying to attribute effects to causes and pin point the problem and control everything, but in real life sometimes things don’t go my way despite my best efforts. That’s life.

It’s okay to ask for help.

While dying in my bed, not wanting to leave but desperately wanting chicken noodle soup, I searched grubhub and foodler for a good thirty minutes trying to find a place that delivered chicken noodle soup. I didn’t find a single place. As much as I didn’t want to bother anyone with bringing “poor old me” soup because they have lives that do not revolve around me, I was forced to seek outside assistance seeing as Panera no longer delivers to BC (major issues with that). But I realized my friends were more than willing to help me despite their own busy schedules. Being sick makes you realize that people will help you out and that your friends are there for you.

Appreciate your health!

Nothing like not being healthy to make you realize how awesome being a healthy individual is. You can exercise, study, go out, speak like a normal person without coughing like crazy and sounding like a 65 year old chain smoker. It’s pretty freaking awesome, and we so often take it for granted because we are young and healthy for most of the time. Your health is so essential and it’s important to stay that way because without it everything else you do would be a lot harder.

So while I by no means suggest you go out and catch the nasty bug that seems to be going around campus, I do suggest that every once in a while you take a page out of my “sick lessons” book. I got sick and learned these tidbits of wisdom so you don’t have to! Taking one for the team, look at me go! But in all seriousness, take care of your body and your health because there is nothing more important!  


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