Someday when you’re draining mucus hopelessly, sneezing train whistles, and praying your head does you a favor and falls off completely, you’ll have the lovely thought, “Hey… maybe I should still go to class?” Ohh… the ills of college.
Well… it happens. You’ve gotten sick in college and now you’re hoping for the magic formula that lets you keep your grades up when you can barely keep your head up.
Naturally, the most healthy thing you can do with most sickness is taking time off. Your body sometimes just needs that time to recover. You can have a nice warm bowl of soup. Put on some movies you love to watch and melt away into your bed for a couple… Or you can come back to reality and realize that you’re in college…
Missing a single class can knock you off your game and force you into rough spot. That means your grades suffer. One missed class can make you miss something absolutely fundamental for your class success.
Sooo…. What do you do when you’re snotting up things you never imaged should be in your head in the first place while still trying to keep your grades high? Well… here are a few of the important things I do:
Take The Breaks You Have
Okay… you may not be able to give yourself 3 days of bed rest but couldn’t you find a way to give yourself five or six good hours of bed rest a day?
While you’re sick, manage your life around your bed. If you can find a way to relax while doing something you have to do then relax. Read your books in bed. Sleep whenever you need a nap. Give up on extracurriculars that aren’t essential for you.
If you can find a way to put off an assignment for a week or two, do it. Ask for extensions if you feel comfortable with it. Most teachers will say no but if you sound sick enough when you ask, them saying no is good for you. They say no and you can politely say you understand. They won’t hold it against you. In fact, since you sounded sick, they might even consider that when they’re grading and give you a few extra points. (“You know… she was sick when she did this. That’s pretty good.”)
If you have any low priority assignments, skip them. If the assignment doesn’t have a major impact on your final grade then you staying sick could cost you way more points than skipping a low value assignment.
Some ways you can take more breaks:
- Go to bed early.
- Stick with the 15MSS
- Skip low value classwork
- Kick your roommates out (politely) when they’re loud.
- Stay in bed late
- Eat junk in bed
Scared that cutting back studying will damage your grades. You probably have less to worry about than you think. You can read How To Take A Day Off Studying (Without The World Collapsing Around You) in the members only area. You can currently join the community free and get all the articles here.
But Don’t Skip Class
Almost never skip class because you’re sick.
If you can contain your sickness in tissues and comfortable clothes then show up. Just keep your distance from other people to be polite and almost no one will care. You’re paying for these classes. You should show up even when you’re not feeling like it just to keep your habits solid.
You don’t need to stay on your A game through all of your life. Give yourself permission to slack in other areas like homework. When it comes to showing up for class, don’t give yourself any leeway.
When you show up for class sick you end up benefiting in a number of ways:
- You don’t miss anything
- You keep your good habits
- The teacher sees you’re sick and realizes you care
- You retain some structure while you’re sick
- You never have to ask “should I go to class?”
This simplifies your life.
Sure… there are times when you shouldn’t go to class. Those times will usually happen unexpectedly. (Like you sit down to read flashcards for five minutes before class and doze off for two hours uncomfortable on the floor.) Accidentally missing class is one thing. Intentionally missing class is another.
Sometimes you’re sick enough to need actual medical attention. If you’re miles away from your regular doctor then this might be a little bit of a concern for you. Colleges often have health centers for this kind of thing. If you need assistance then you can usually ask college security to get you where you need to go for medical care.
(Note: College security is awesome. They’re the unsung heroes for a college student in need.)
Do you have health care?
If you go to college, even if you’re not otherwise covered, there is a good chance your college includes it in your tuition. Make sure to take advantage of it if you have it.
If you have any serious illness, you will be able to find people to take care of you.
If you have a roommate then you might even ask them to be your sickness judge. Ask them to keep an eye on you. If they think you’re seriously sick then they can make the decision for you to go to a doctor.
There are countless home remedies for getting over sickness.
Almost all of them are good. No… not all of them would pass scientific testing but if they comfort you and make you feel better then they’re probably pretty good for you.
When I was a child my mother used to bring me apple juice when I was sick. No… there is no scientific evidence this helps beyond staying hydrated but it helps me feel better. To this day when I’m sick, I can drink a glass of apple juice in bed and start to feel a little bit better.
Do you have any childhood remedies for sickness? Use them. They don’t have to make sense to make you feel better.
The biggest problem with being sick in college (for me) was the uncertainty.
It can feel like you don’t know what’s going to happen because you’re not used to managing a sickness without the support of being at home. Any way you can comfort yourself is helpful. Let yourself feel like a child for a moment.
You’ll be fine.
Sickness in college sucks but it can be a good excuse to take some time to curl up and relax a little. Take advantage of it and try not to worry too much.
Have any college sickness horror stories? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
This is an absolutely essential read for anyone on this blog.
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