Being sick as a kid meant your mom picking you up from the nurse's office in the middle of the day. Everything would be way slower and more sluggish, hazy, milky and gross. You'd fall asleep under a couple blankets in the living room and then wake up in the middle of the night, sweating in your own bed with no recollection of how you got there. But you're not six anymore, and things are different now...
1. There's no going home early.
Are you projectile vomiting in the middle of your English class? No? Then there's no reason for you to skip your next class and come home early. Your professor is a lunatic and you've already missed two classes and she said she's assigning the next essay today so there's kind of no way out of this one. God forbid you realize you're sick in the middle of a work shift - asking your manager to go home early is like saying goodbye to your living expenses for the next month.
2. And there's no staying home.
Up until college, it's all about pretending to be sick enough to convince your mom to let you stay home. When you get to college, it's all about convincing your mom that there's no way you can stay home - yes, I know I have a fever and it's probably strep throat but I also have two presentations and a tutoring session today, so I'm taking all my ills to the outside world anyway.
3. Milking it for all it's worth.
When you're a kid, you really try and get the best out of a cold, which means you've got to keep moaning and groaning about how much your throat hurts until at least day three. That's when your mom and your doctor will gang up on you and send you off to school. As an adult, you've got to pretend the flu is just a head cold - "yeah I can present today", "yeah I'm sure I can make this shift", "yeah it's fine it's only the sniffles".
4. Staying home only means more work.
Staying home sick as a child meant extra time to play and as many naps as you wanted. If you're bad enough to stay home sick as an adult, it means consuming DayQuil and catching up on work until your body shuts down and you fall asleep in a puddle of your own drool.
5. Mom doesn't stay home with you.
Until you're approximately 12 years old, mom has no choice but to stay home and pour tea into your mouth until you're no longer coughing. After that, you're forced to make your own damn tea and cover your own damn self in blankets. If you fall asleep on the couch, you wake up on the couch too.