The 6 Stages of the College Cold

It all starts with a cough. Then, a sneeze. The next thing you know you have a full-on cold. Let’s be real, getting a cold wouldn’t be that bad if it weren’t for those two exams you have next week and that pesky paper you’ve been putting off for a month now. But, a cold in college doesn’t have to be the end of the world (no matter how much it feels like it). While there are some tips and tricks to avoid a full-fledged cold, if you do have the misfortune of coming down with one, just remember that everyone on campus is probably sharing in your cold-induced misery.


Stage 1: The Epidemic

It happens overnight. Once someone gets a cold it’s only a matter of time before everyone has a cold. There’s no escaping it, unless you’re planning on locking yourself away until cold and flu season is over. While this seems like a great way to get out of class, it’s definitely not practical. At this point, your best bet for fighting off a cold is to sanitize everything.

Stage 2: The First Symptoms

Purell is only prolonging the inevitable. As your first symptoms develop, vitamin C, cough drops, and blankets become your new best friends. Don’t be afraid to bring your box of Kleenex to the library or unwrap those extra loud cough drop wrappers in class. If you look around, I guarantee everyone is coughing and sneezing right along with you.

Stage 3: Anything to Get Rid of It

The list of homeopathic cold remedies goes on for forever. Pick a spot on the list and try any and all of them. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find the cure everyone is so desperately seeking. To save you time scouring the hoards of remedies on the internet, some standard cold practices are:

  1. Drinking tea with extra honey 
  2. Eating soup for every meal  
  3. And, most importantly, sleeping as much as possible. 


Stage 4: Symptoms worsen

If you’re one of the lucky ones and your consistent soup eating and sleeping cured your cold, congratulations. But, if you’re like the majority of the population, your symptoms continue to worsen regardless of how much soup you eat. It’s finally time to admit defeat and accept that you’re sick. Just head to the store and pick out your favorite patterned tissue box. It’s going to be your everyday accessory for the next week.

Stage 5: Your life is (momentarily) over

What better way to cope than to complain? Although you may have learned by now to pack extra tissues with you when you go to class, suffering through a cold never gets easier. When the thought of moving, let alone having to get out of bed to take an exam seems unbearable, you’ve hit the peak (or the pit) of your cold. Just remember it can only get better from here.

Stage 6: Back to 100%

Before you celebrate the end of your cold, it’s time to disinfect everything. Once you’re done, you’ll feel like a whole new person. Just remember it’s now your turn to take care of all of your friends that you’ve managed to get sick while they were taking care of you. Despite the week of laying in bed complaining that you’d never be able to breathe again, you can’t seem to understand why everyone is being so over dramatic about their cold. You dealt with yours like a champ, right?

A college campus during cold and flu season is a breeding ground for viruses. Catching the common cold is almost like another task to check off your to-do list. But no matter how bad you’re feeling, you’ll be back to your healthy self sooner than later!