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How to Survive Being Sick During Midterms or Finals

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

One of the worst things in life is being sick. One of the second worst things in life is being sick during midterms or finals. As college students, we know how much effort and energy it takes to study for an exam that our grade depends on. The last thing we need to happen to us while we’re preparing for this exam is becoming sick. Recently, I was one of the many I know to catch the flu this season. Congestion, body aches, coughing, and nausea. All the things I wanted to feel during my studying (/sarcasm). During my recovery I made a list on how to survive being sick during, possibly, one of the worst times in the term. I hope none of you ever have to use this list.

1. Drink plenty of fluids.

Water, chicken noodle soup, tea, and gatorade are all great options to keep you hydrated. Unfortunately, beer and wine don’t count.

2. Don’t forget to eat.

Bland foods are good for the stomach while you’re sick. Oatmeal, toast with butter/jam/peanut butter/etc, bananas, and rice are all good options. Just be sure you’re eating enough to let your body to recover!

3. Take medicine.

Taking medicine while you’re sick is a good idea because not only will it help you feel better, but it can help you feel good enough to concentrate on your studies.

4. Rest.

Wrap yourself like a burrito and hang out in bed all day. I always tell people that if your professor allows a few unexcused absences, save them for when you’re sick, especially during winter term when you’re more likely to be sick. If your professor doesn’t fly with that always email letting them know when you’re sick. You may have to go to the Student Health Services to get a note if your professor requires it.

6. Make friends with people in your class.

Befriending someone in your class has many benefits but one of the best ones is when you’re sick and you need lecture notes. Strike up a conversation early in the term and swap emails/phone numbers. Don’t forget to return the favor by doing the same for them or buying them Dutch. 

7. Have a laptop near by.

Since you’re wrapped up like a burrito, you’re going to need a laptop nearby to do important things like watching a series on netflix, browsing Pinterest, or actually studying for that test. Pull up Canvas and Quizlet on your browser and get to studying! It’s not like you’re going anywhere for a while.

    8. Don’t leave your house. 


Staying inside for the next few days will make you go insane but you don’t want to run the risk of getting others sick. Have your friends get you food, medicine, or whatever you need. If you do have to go out, be sure to bring plenty of tissues, cough drops, and always cover your cough!


If you continue to feel sick or need more than just cough drops be sure to contact the Plageman Student Health Center by calling (541) 737-9355. Open Monday – Friday (9am – 6pm), Saturday (10am – 3pm), Sunday closed. Now that you have the tools to kick that cold, use them! Being sick during midterms and finals sucks but with these tips you can survive it and stay healthy during the school year. 


Rebecca Holland is a 5th Year at Oregon State University and is majoring in Digital Communication Arts. She is involved on campus with the Student Alumni Ambassadors and Chi Omega Women's Fraternity. Rebecca has a car named Sasquatch which she has appropriately decorated in many Sasquatch related stickers. You can find her browsing the newest dank memes, eating pizza, and crying about her love of cats.  
Madeline is a Senior at Oregon State majoring in Merchandising Management and minoring in writing. She was the 2016-'17 president of Chi Theta Phi, a local design sorority on campus. If she's not in class, at a club meeting, chapter, or writing, she's probably spending time with her family, friends, walking her dogs, eating junk food, or watching too many crime, comedy, or fashion shows on Netflix. She likes cheese, dogs, creative projects, obnoxious animal prints, garage sales, farmer's markets, and generally just being silly.