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What to do When You’re Sick at University

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

Around this time of year, if you enter any lecture or go to any library, you’re likely to hear someone cough. As hard as I try to avoid getting sick, I always succumb to the virus circulating campus every year.

The bug always seems to take me out, but this year, I think I’ve mastered fighting sickness while at university.

My first recommendation is to take extra precautions. If you’re starting to feel an itch in your throat or start having a bit of a runny nose, don’t hesitate to start taking extra good care of yourself. Whether that’s making some soup, getting some extra rest, or drinking some Emergen-C, little things you do to boost your health can help more than you think. I’ve noticed that the faster I respond to the sickness, the easier the journey is. Rather than having a couple of days where I feel tired and unable to do anything, I feel more energized and recover much quicker.

When I get sick, I always crave a special soup that my mom makes me when I’m feeling unwell. My second recommendation would be to have a recipe or two on hand that are packed with some hearty ingredients. Whether that’s a family member’s famous soup or just a super nutritious meal that you really enjoy eating, knowing what to cook can make your life a lot easier. Since my mom’s a gem, she will usually freeze some soup for me to take to school for when I get sick, so that I can defrost it easily and just heat it up. Meal prepping for times when you’re sick and sticking it in the freezer is maybe one of the most helpful things I’ve learned to do.

Shun Matsuhashi / Spoon

My third recommendation is to let yourself relax. As important as lectures and assignments are, so is your health! Talking to your professors or group members to let them know you may need an extension is totally okay! Being open and communicative about your health will allow them to understand what’s going on and they’ll be more accommodating. After learning the hard way, trust me when I say that it’s much more worth it to get that extra day of rest than to push yourself to get the work done. Once you’re recovered and feeling better, the quality of your work will also be much better than if you were to complete it while sick. 

My last recommendation is to always stay stocked up. From Halls to Buckley’s, having the classic flu season supplies is essential. Making a run to Shopper’s or the local pharmacy is a lot when you’re feeling tired and just wanna stay in bed. Being able to grab the meds you need from the comfort of your own home is always so nice when you really don’t have the energy to do much else. At the beginning of the school year, I always make sure I have some tissues, cough medicine, cough drops, my favourite tea, and Advil/Tylenol. It’s also important to check the expiration date to make sure that what you have is good to go in case of an emergency.

Being sick sucks, and nothing can make you long for home more. My suggestion is to take care of yourself just as your loved ones would. Buy some tea and cough drops, enjoy some Netflix, and give yourself permission to relax.

Emma Luong

Queen's U '25

A third-year Health Sci student at Queen's University who enjoys reading, making Spotify playlists, watching classic movies and cooking!