Becoming sick or ill during college is inevitable. The dorms, classrooms, and the facilities themselves are usually a petri dish for spreading all variants of viruses and colds. If you manage to go to college and not get some sort of sickness within a semester or two, you might have the best immune system in the world! Anyways, being sick in college can be extremely rough. You are living independently and can’t depend on other people to do work and choirs for you. This post will talk about my experiences of being sick in college and what I recommend to prepare and do when you are sick.
Getting sick in college is usually not a thing you hear people saying you need to learn and hear about before it happens. Most of the time you just get sick and deal with it as you got. However, with the amount of work and responsibility you have at school, it is important to always be prepared so that you don’t fall behind in your work and so that you can recover as fast as possible.
The first thing is having everything you need. For me, I always keep mediation such as Tylenol, Advil, and ibuprofen in my room. These simple things are what I consider the necessities. These things come in handy for just common headaches, soreness, or inflammation that might occur throughout your semester. For me, playing a sport has made this crucial to my inventory.
The next thing to do is make sure you have a plan for when you get sick. I don’t mean to have a written protocol of what to do either. I mean to just have ways of getting things that need to be done in a way you can. This includes having a friend’s number in a class that you are taking so they can share notes and inform you of what is happening in class. The other thing to have in your plan is to know how to be proactive and to whom. This includes knowing what professors to email for work and being able to cancel meetings if needed. Being responsible while you are sick is just as important as being reasonable when you are healthy. Sometimes, you are just going to suck up how you are feeling to complete the tasks that need to be done first.
I made this mistake when I was a freshman in college. During my second semester of college, I came down really sick with a cough, headache, stuffy nose, and everything that made me feel like crap. I remember I woke up and it was just hard to even move. I knew I couldn’t sit in class all day so I emailed my professors that I couldn’t make it. I got the work sent to me from other people within the class and I managed to make my way to the athletic training office to see what I should do. Keep in mind that this was before Covid so people weren’t as strict as they were now about being sick and staying inside. When I went to the office they called for an immediate appointment at student health services. I was directed not to go to practice that day and try and take the day off. When I went to the health service office they tested me for everything under the sun, but I came back negative. For the next week, I felt the worst I have ever felt before. I was tired, beat up, and had no motivation to do anything. I began missing classes and even missing a quiz. By the end of it all, I managed to miss an entire week of chemistry class and half a week of Biology including a quiz.
After this week, however, was spring break. I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to go home because of participating in spring sports, but little did I know I was going home anyway because of the pandemic. My school sent out an email stating everyone must leave the campus within 3-4 days and that we can return a month later to continue in-person classes. I will save this story for another blog though.
All in all, being sick in college has definitely changed a lot since the pandemic. There are now resources and tools you can use to virtually be in class and to be honest, professors are more lenient on missing class because of illness. Before the pandemic, you had to be there no matter what otherwise it was your fault. Now it is recommended and encouraged to stay home. Who knows how long this will continue but, it sure makes it a lot easier for students when they become sick.