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The 9 Stages of Being Sick on Campus

Being sick sucks. Being sick while in college is even worse. Here are nine stages of being sick and (possibly) how to push through it and (hopefully) feel better soon.

1. “I am healthy, don’t you dare cough near me”

Ah, what bliss. You are rocking it. You take multivitamins, you work out once a month – there is no way you are catching whatever is going around. So, you refuse to hang out with anyone who could potentially give it to you. You hear someone cough and you eat a piece of fruit just to compensate for the potential germs in your atmosphere. But you’re going to get out of this quarter completely healthy – right?

2. “I have one symptom, but it’s not a big deal. I can totally get back at it”

So you woke up with a slightly sore throat. “Okay no-biggie,” you tell yourself. Just take that allergy pill – it could still just be seasonal allergies. And while you’re at it, you might pick up some Emergen-C from CVS. Because, well, you aren’t sick…but if you were, this would help. You swallow it down, try to pretend it tastes good and hope it somehow made you feel better. It didn’t and it doesn’t. But it’s just allergies, right? This will be over soon enough. Don’t stress.

3. “Okay, this isn’t allergies”

You wake up and you feel like you are going to die. “Oh no,” you say. And that’s all you need to say.

4. “Oh, nasty.”

This is the part where you cough something up while you are walking to class. You’re too grossed out to swallow, but there are too many people around to spit discretely. So, you continue walking with this nasty warm loogie in your mouth trying not to throw up from the flavor and desperately hoping no one is walking by. But, omg you have to spit it right now. Inevitably, someone will see and their face will crinkle up in disgust. You can’t disagree with them because damn that is nasty.

5. “I think, I think I might be getting better.”

When you haven’t visited the doctor but you *think* you might be recovering anyway. You tell yourself that your symptoms are *slightly* less alarming than they were before. Even though you still feel a little like death, you think it might be over soon. You think wrong.

6. “Okay, this is how I go. It was nice knowing all of you.”

Well, that miraculous recovery didn’t happen. Now, you’re sitting in your bed at 1 p.m. with all the lights off wondering where you went wrong and what you did to deserve this. You wish that you had appreciated your body more when it was healthy. You start telling yourself that if you will make it out of this. You swear you’ll treat your body better. You’ll workout more and eat more veggies. If only some higher power lets you make it out alive.

7. “Please, I need antibiotics”

You know if you go to the campus doctors they’ll tell you to take a DayQuil and suck it up, but you know this has gotten bad – mostly because you let it get worse. So, you haul yourself in the rain to your local, immediate care and cough up that co-pay so you can get a Z-pack or whatever it is they have that will make you feel at least marginally better. And, like magic, it works. You have a prescription and hopefully it will make you feel alive again.

8. “Oh, alcohol interacts with that?”

You are on day two or three of the antibiotics and its a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Some party or function that you’ve been waiting for all year is that night. So what do you do –  not take your pill that day? It’s illness roulette (and super risky and unsafe) to mix alcohol with antibiotics (for the most part). For some reason, even after you made all those promises about treating your body right, you are more than willing to be ruthless and skip your dosage for that night of fun.

9. “I think I’m finally better!”

You finally finished your round of antibiotics. Hooray! You can finally throw away all the used tissues that somehow made it into every crevice of your bed. But also, you still kind of have that cough – but that’ll go away, right? You hope for the best as you cough for the rest of the quarter. Just in time to go through it all again in the winter!

Gifs Courtesy of Giphy

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Meg Biederman

Northwestern

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