5 Ways to Cope with Being Sick in College

5 Ways to Cope with Being Sick in College

Being sick in school is the absolute worst, but there are ways to make it better.
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Getting sick is horrible in general. Getting sick at college though can be so much worse. At least at home there’s probably someone around to nurse you back to health, or at least take pity on you. At college, you’ve got to take care of yourself. That soup isn’t going to make itself. Here are some tips for handling being sick at school

1. Drink plenty of fluids.

Having to pee every 30 minutes is a frustrating thing, but fluids really do help you get better. Your body needs fluids to flush all the illness out. Also if you’ve got a fever, you’re probably sweating and getting dehydrated, so it’s important to stay on top of drinking. If water isn’t your thing, it’s still worthwhile to drink tea, sports drinks, and even a little bit of soda. The point is to get the liquid into your system and keep it down.

2. Get some rest.

No one wants to be told this because as college kids we have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. However, getting more sleep is one of the main keys to recovery. Your body heals while you rest, and it can better fight the illness if it’s not also trying to keep you running. You need at least the standard 8 hours (especially if you don’t get that regularly) but you’ll likely need even more than that. This generally means going to bed early, even if it means skipping that reading assignment or the really fun party next door. If you’ve got time, take naps too, especially in the middle of the day when you can feel yourself starting to lag.

3. Make a comfortable space for yourself.

Make some soup. Curl up with a cup of tea. Lay in bed and watch crazy amounts of Netflix while dozing. Take a hot shower. Whatever comfort looks like to you, find a way to do it. This can often be the most difficult because as college students we’re told to just keep trekking along, regardless of circumstance. If you feel well enough to do some work, great! But know when to take breaks. Listen to your body and what it needs. If you’re feeling too sick to make yourself food, ask a friend or your roommate if they can help. Essentially, don’t overtax yourself.

4. Talk to your professors.

Sometimes going to class will be unavoidable, whether it's because you have a presentation or a test, or just because your professor has a super strict attendance policy. However, letting your professors know you’re sick is always a good choice. They may want you to stay home rather than risk getting the rest of the class sick. They may even offer you an extension on assignments. The point is, if they don’t know you’re sick, they can’t help you deal with being sick.

5. Go to the health center.

When you’re sick it usually feels like you don’t have time for anything else, especially for going to the doctor. Most of the time. However, if the cold persists or gets progressively worse, it might be time to go and see a professional. The worst thing that can happen is you lose half an hour of study time and end up with some free cough drops. If something is wrong though, they can get you what you need to get better, whether that’s through medication or further testing. You know your body better than anyone else, so if something feels wrong, then something is probably wrong. It’s always better to get checked out and find nothing than it is to avoid a doctor only for your illness to get much worse (emergency room worse).

Being sick sucks, but with the right steps, you can handle it, even far away from home!

Cover Image Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/69/ec/c6/69ecc620fbcc4ebbaa16932d37205b3a.jpg

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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You Should Treat Your Body With Kindness

Your health should be your first priority.

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I've learned that at the end of the day, you have to love yourself more than anyone else does. Your body will be either you for the rest of your life and you haven't to treat it kindly.

Things can get difficult as we grow up, and we can often be led to neglect our bodies or to treat them badly. You may be wondering what exactly I mean by badly.

The smallest things we do that can harm our bodies can lead to major consequences. Not drinking enough water is a big one, especially for me. I usually go about my day, forgetting I even need to drink water to survive, and this has led me to become dehydrated a few times. Being dehydrated is horrible for your body and can lead to many serious life-altering complications. You do not want to end up in the hospital needing an IV because you forgot to drink water. Drink water; this is an example of self-care.

Not eating enough can be very damaging. Have you ever been so busy and stressed studying for an exam, running home to make flashcards, then running back to the library to study with your classmates? Have you ever been so caught up with studying that you passed up time to eat or forgot to eat because you didn't feel hungry from the stress? If you have, you are probably a college student. I can tell you that this has happened to me and the end result wasn't good. I was too hungry to study and didn't retain information well. When I finally found time to eat, my stomach started to hurt because I had spent so much time without food. Eat well and regularly; this is an example of self-care.

Not getting enough sleep can cause you to feel like you're not even present the next day. Pulling all-nighters has never been something I've done or wanted to do, but I do stay up late way too often. I never realized how much getting a full 8 hours of sleep would benefit my health and well-being the next day. I've gone days with sleeping little and not being as productive as I would have liked to be because I didn't have the energy to do anything at all. Sleep the required hours; this is an example of self-care.

Drinking water, eating regularly, and sleeping are all seemingly simple and obvious things people should do, so why do we neglect them so often? No grade is more important than your health. If you neglect your basic needs, your grades are sure to suffer. Taking care of your health means that you love your body and want it to carry you through the rest of your life. Remember, you only have one body, so treat it with kindness.

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