What it’s Like to Be Sick Over Break

On Wednesday morning, the day after I came home for Thanksgiving break, my throat felt particularly scratchy and my nose was mildly congested. Being someone who rarely catches colds (or any illness, for that matter), I was quick to attribute my symptoms to the abundance of cat fur in my family’s home. However, unlike other times cat fur has stirred up my allergies, my symptoms did not fade away.  

In fact, on Thanksgiving day, my energy was lower than it had been in a long time and my scratchy throat had only intensified. My sickness hit with full force on Black Friday. An obnoxious, phlegm-producing cough and runny nose surfaced as less-than-favorable additions to my prior symptoms. Needless to say, after a tough semester, spending my Thanksgiving break with tissues up my nose was not the way I imagined “relaxing”.  

Unfortunately, I am not the only one suffering right now; they don’t call it “flu season” for nothing! But in case you were fortunate enough to have your health this past week, here’s an inside look into what it was like being sick over break:  

1. Tissues take over your life.

TISSUES. Tissue boxes. Tissues in your bed. Tissues overflowing out of the trashcan. There are tissues everywhere, and you cannot escape them. You also can’t escape how raw and dry your nose becomes after the incessant wiping and blowing. Even the “aloe infused” tissues can’t help you now.  

2. All those cute winter outfits you brought home? They never leave the suitcase.

Being sick means you never leave the house, let alone the couch. And when you do, it’s likely only to get more tissues or to make some soup. There is no need to dress up when you feel and look (no shade) this terrible. Oversized sweatshirts and pajama bottoms are all the matters.  

3. Your family will take care of you.

While it sucks to be sick over break, there is one silver lining: your family is around to take care of you. Being sick at school is the worst because you never know what over-the-counter medicines to buy or whether or not you need to see a doctor. To find out, you have to either look it up online somehow or call or text your parents, creating too much room for error and miscommunication. At home, though, your family is easier to access and they can make sure you have all you need to be healthy. Shout out to my own parents for not only buying me cough syrup and fancy tissues, but for bringing me takeout from my favorite restaurant.  

4. School work will not get done.

Thanksgiving break should hardly be defined as a “break” because many teachers are not afraid to assign work, especially because exams start shortly after students return from their week off. It’s difficult enough to find homework motivation when you’re supposed to be enjoying time away from school, but it’s even harder when you’re also sick as a dog. Let’s just say I had to put off 90% of my assignments... Pray for me, fam.  

5. You learn to appreciate your health.

It’s tough to go from a person writing papers, going to class, working out, attending meetings, etc. to a person who is confined to a tissue-coated couch, unable to get anything done. As far as our health goes, we really don’t know what we have until it’s gone. But thankfully, these kinds of things don’t last forever.  

To anyone who was as sick as I was last week, here’s to a speedy recovery and to a successful end of the semester. Stay healthy, everyone!


(Photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)