Getting sick in college blows.
Seriously, I spent the last two weeks of October blowing my nose left and right. And as if getting sick weren’t bad enough, being sick in college is an entirely different game. Being sick in college in New York? Nooooope. Thanks, but I’ll sit out. After going through the ringer on this one, here are some suggestions for a less terrible sick experience:
1. Ask friends to help you out! I kept pulling myself out of bed to walk to the pharmacy in the cold rain. That was extremely unhelpful. In the elevator on my way back up to my room after one such journey, I told a girl in my building that I’d been out to get some medicine. She emphatically suggested that next time around, I ask her to go get it for me. I told her that I’d be her go-to for medicine runs next time she gets sick. Boom. Deal struck, and now neither of us will ever be coughing/dragging our own dead bodies down Clark Street again.
2. Email your professors that you’ll be out of class. If you have a fever/can’t stop coughing/are generally too weak to move, you’re doing yourself and everyone else a disservice by going to class. The reason we’re allotted a number of absences is for stuff like this! STAY HOME, but shoot your prof (or TA) an email to say you’re out because you’re sick. And spend that time resting diligently so you can return to your life sooner rather than later.
3. Go to the doctor if you’re worried things are getting worse. Don’t put this one off. Colds turn into sinus infections, which turn into general, prolonged unhappiness (lesson learned on this one *sneeze*). Ask upperclassmen in your house if they have a preferred doctor or clinic. Alternatively, there are some clinics recommended by TKC, too, so have someone refer you to those, as well. Be sure you have all your insurance information.
4. Speaking of insurance, if you do go to the doctor, KNOW YOUR PARENTS’ BIRTHDAYS. I know, I know. You probably know them, right? Wrong. Lots of people don’t know! And that’s kind of okay! But if your parents are primary holders on insurance, the doctor’s office will need to know their birthdays. So go ahead and shoot that text to a sibling now so you aren’t calling your dad from a clinic lobby. Those places have terrible cell service.
5. Drink lots of fluids and sleep a lot. “Mom, I know! You’re embarrassing me,” is probably what you’re saying to your computer screen after reading that. But moms are right on this one. Hydration and rest are the two things your body needs to really get better, so be a pal and give it that much.
6. Once you’re on the up and up, CLEAN. You don’t want to get yourself or your roommates sick again. I have a friend in Texas who spent her entire freshman year bouncing strep throat back and forth between herself and roommates. So, once you’re better, you’ve got to clean! This includes, but is not limited to: disinfecting all hard surfaces, WASHING YOUR SHEETS, and getting a new toothbrush. The toothbrush thing is actually really important. So, yeah, do that.
Be careful this cold and flu season, friends. You don’t want to get sick. Trust me. Go get yourself a flu shot at Duane Reade and stop licking subway poles.