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So you’ve woken up with a stuffy nose, a headache, a cough, maybe some nausea. Your roommate is sick, the people down your hall are sick. You’ve taken COVID test after COVID test and they all come back negative.

It’s possible that you’ve come down with a case of…the Frat Flu. I’m no health expert, but as a frequenter of WebMD and a college student, I’m leaving you with some tips and tricks for recovering from the frat flu.

1. REST! 

Getting rest when you have any sort of sickness is absolutely essential, but it’s especially important when you’re sick in college to take a day or two to rest so the fatigue and sickness doesn’t come back to bite you later. Email your teachers and try to get an excused absence or an extension on an assignment if you can and get some extra sleep! It’s so important, especially when you’re already likely a sleep-deprived student, to get those extra few hours of rest in. Ask your roommates to bring you breakfast in bed. Try to relax as much as you can. 

Most importantly, don’t go out on the weekend (or during the week for that matter)! It can suck to feel like you’re missing out on a fun weekend with friends, but recovering from being sick is 10x more important. Sitting out on one weekend isn’t the end of the world. And you don’t have to spend it alone if you don’t want to: do a night in with friends! Movie nights, game nights, and album listening parties are my go to weekend-in with friends activities. Just try not to get them sick too…

2. Eat well, drink water and take supplements if you can.

It can be hard to get ample nutrients from college dining hall food, but eating healthy when you’re sick is essential! This could also be a fun opportunity to experiment with new DIY dining hall recipes. Create a new salad recipe or try a new soup. If you can, I also highly recommend taking a multivitamin supplement to make up for any nutrients you aren’t getting from dining hall food that are important to boosting your immune system and helping you recover! There are lots of options—find something that works for you.

Water is also soooo so important for your health! It can be hard to stay hydrated when you’re running in between classes and activities, but make an effort to keep your water bottle full at all times and stay hydrated. 

3. Take medicine if you can!

You don’t have to fight the frat flu alone. DayQuil and NyQuil—or whatever you choose to take—are your best friends! Again, there are a lot of options for cold and cough medicine. Find one that works for you! Just make sure you check the dosage suggestions before taking too much or too little.

4. Go to your school’s health center or a local urgent care if you feel really sick.

Here’s the thing: as much as people try to downplay the frat flu, there’s a chance it’s not just a common cold. Last semester’s frat flu at Kenyon College turned out to be the flu, and this semester it’s bronchitis. If you think you could have something more than a cold, go get checked out by a doctor! Yes, it’s inconvenient and can be embarrassing but I guarantee they’ve seen a thousand cases of the frat flu. 

They’re going to have more answers and more tips than I do!

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Chiara is currently a sophomore at Kenyon College and is so excited to be writing for HerCampus!