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Tips for When You’re Sick at College

Unfortunately, we have reached the peak of the flu season. You may have noticed that most kids in your classes are coughing up a lung, your roommate hasn’t left her bed in a couple of days, and you’re sniffing all the time yourself. This doesn’t mean you should wear a mask and carry around hand sanitizer with you 24/7, but it doesn’t hurt to take a few extra steps so that you stay healthy this time of year.

Here are some I wish I payed more attention to when I had the flu last week:

1) Get your rest

Sleep should be the probably the most important thing in your life right now. If you feel a cold coming on, now’s the time to skip out on a Thursday night on the town with friends. Try to finish your homework before 9 and stay off screens so you can have your best night’s sleep. If you already have trouble with that, try melatonin. I find melatonin by Olly works best. Sleep will help your immune system and ease your stress.

2) Don’t stress about missing classes

Obviously you will be a little stressed, because being sick can set you back in classes. Attendance is important in most classes so email your TA’s and professors and let them know of your situation. Make a to-do list of assignments you need to get done and their due dates. Ask for extensions if you need them. Ask a friend for class notes. Try to do work while you’re laying in bed, but don’t push yourself because as said above, rest is most important right now.


Don’t be shy to flex your hydroflask- you have never needed it more. Drinking water throughout the day will give you that boost of energy that your body needs. Try to steer clear of caffeine and make drinking water your goal. Hot tea can help soothe a sore throat, but it can also dehydrate you a little so keep sipping on regular water. Make sure you balance with electrolytes and have a salty soup for dinner, or use one of these packets a day.

Tip: It’s best to mix this with a little water and take it as a shot and drink water throughout the day, rather than dilute in a large bottle of water.

4) Call home

Now’s a good time to call mom and ask how her day is going. It can get lonely when you’re stuck in bed at school and you don’t have your mom to take care of you. Calling home and chatting with the family can make you feel better mentally and cheer you up if you have the blues.

5) Visit the health center on campus

If you feel up to it, make an appointment to come into the health center or call a doctor over the phone. You may need antibiotics or just need cold medicine. Sometimes it’s hard to get an appointment here at UVM, but they are very helpful over the phone if you need professional advice.

One more tip is to wash your hands every time you use the bathroom and come back into your dorm/apartment from campus! Eat healthy and exercise!

Good luck and stay healthy this season.


Cat Bates


Edited by Alex Rosenberger

Hey! I'm Cat and I'm a sophomore at UVM studying environmental studies and minoring in community development and economics :).
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