Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Sick in College? How to Feel Better Quickly

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

Around this time every year, I always manage to get really sick with some kind of virus. My friends and I have coined the term “Frat Flu” because it’s usually a bug around campus that knocks out everyone it comes into contact with. Being away from home, there’s no one to take care of me when I’m sick, so here are some tips on how to take care of yourself when you ultimately catch something.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Especially if you have a stomach bug or are running a fever, you lose a lot of water quickly through sweat and/or vomit. Although this may be hard to do if you can’t keep anything down, try to keep hydrated through small sips of water or sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade. From a word of experience, do NOT try to chug your drink! If you’re able to cook for yourself, broth from soup is also a great way to slowly introduce liquids back into your body.

Stick to a Plain Diet

Although this mainly applies to stomach viruses, there’s nothing that a bowl of chicken noodle soup can’t cure. If you are having a hard time keeping foods down, make sure your diet includes only plain and easy-to-digest foods. (Psst, skip out on the hot Cheetos and cheeseburgers until you’re feeling better) Foods that are great for sick days include:

  • Soups
  • Crackers
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Chicken and Rice
  • Oatmeal

Get Lots of Sleep

One of the best cures for any sickness is sleep. As college students, we are always on the go, and often our sleep gets neglected for homework or big projects. Studies show that lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of contracting an illness. If you do get sick, your body needs time to recover and repair itself. Plus, if you feel really crappy, sleeping makes the time go by faster! Snuggle up with your favorite blankets and emotional-support stuffed animals, and take a nap as long as you need! I can almost guarantee you’ll feel better after.

Take a Hot Bath/Shower

I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick I tend to feel really gross. Taking a hot shower or bath is great for relieving stress and opening your sinuses if you have a cold. I like to go to Dollar Tree or Walmart and buy some cheap scented Epsom salts. Either sprinkle them in your bath or even on the floor in your shower, and I promise you’ll feel better. Plus, it’ll get rid of “the smell” that creeps up when you’re sick. 


When you start to feel better, make sure to throw those sick clothes and sheets in the laundry with some disinfectant. It will help to make sure to keep your friends from getting sick, but it may also shorten the length of your illness. Lysol Spray will be your best friend for those large surfaces you can’t wash, and disinfectant wipes will take care of things like door handles and other things your hands have touched. 

At the end of the day, remember, this isn’t permanent! Although it may suck now, you’ll start to feel better hopefully in a couple of days. Hang in there!

-Grace Bickle

she/her/hers Psychology Major full-time plant mom <3