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How To Deal With Being Sick In College

It’s that time of year again. Every single person at school is at least a little infected with whatever sickness is going around. Whether it’s a small cough, an irritating itch in your throat, or just feeling like you might fall asleep in class at any moment, we’re all going through it. Dealing with the stress of college? Believe me, that can be taxing on the body enough. It can be frustrating when you are dealing with piles of essays to write, a lab report that’s begging you to type and about 1000 other assignments due each week, but on top of literally feeling like death? We college kids really are amazing. Pat yourself on the back if you’ve ever survived a week feeling like crap with a cold or infection, all while getting your sh*t done. And, if you’re having a sick week right now, don’t worry, I am here to give my expertise on getting through any school week without letting this epidemic of inconvenient college illnesses stop me.

First, make sure you are trying to stay on top of your school work. Although it can be hard to even get yourself to look at your text books or computer screen filled with online homework, it’s still important to try and get some things done. Trust me, your future self will thank you for even trying. You do not what to start\end a semester with poor grades solely due to putting off work while simply not feeling your best. Even if this means propping yourself up on some cozy pillows, wrapped in your warmest blanket, taking for 30 minutes to complete an assignment you need to do, I promise you will survive. 

Second, REST! As much as you push yourself every day, forcing yourself to get better quickly, you need to stop for a second and take care of yourself. When you have a cold, your body needs sleep to recuperate. It’s okay to take a break and give yourself a nap in your day. It’s also okay to go to bed early (I do it all the time). You will find that with putting on your sleeping mask, kicking off your sneakers and snuggling up in your comforter you will be only doing yourself-and your body- a huge favor. 

Third, do not be afraid to stay in for the night and to take time for yourself. You are important. You do not need to go to every party or every hangout. What you do need is some “chill” time to shake your sickness. This could mean going to bed early, applying a sparkly facemask, or watching a good movie (my absolute favorite is 13 Going on 30). I know that the fear of missing out is real for most of us, but you need to remember that it’s okay to say “time out” and just spend time alone until your better.

I hope this list gives you some ideas as to how to deal with a sick day while being away at college. I know it doesn’t compare to being at your house with your mom making you warm chicken noodle soup, but its still something-and hey! That’s what self-care is. Doing something or anything for that matter, to put yourself in a position to get better.

Hi! I'm Hannah Baxer and I'm an English major at the University of New Hampshire!
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