8 Stages of Getting Sick in College
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Health and Wellness

8 Stages of Getting Sick in College

We've all experienced the torture that is getting sick at college.

8 Stages of Getting Sick in College
Dahlia DeHaan

Being sick in college is unarguably the worst. You're away from home, reliant on dining hall food, and your mother isn't around to take care of you. You also don't have access to the things you usually would at home: Popsicles for your sore throat, Vicks vapo-rub for your chest, and homemade soup available at all hours. We've all experienced the painful stages of being sick in college.

Stage 1: Denial.

You wake up for class with almost no voice, or you notice a faint head pain, or you begin to cough. At first, you think nothing of it, but then the idea bubbles up in the back of your mind: am I getting sick? And the answer is always NO! As busy college students, juggling classes, internships, jobs, sports, campus clubs, and a social life, we can't afford to get sick! We don't have the time! So when we begin to experience a mild symptom or two, we stubbornly deny that we are getting sick, because it simply can't happen.

Stage 2: Downfall.

In the denial stage, we experience minor symptoms that we can dismiss as just a one-day headache, or a tickle in your throat that causes a cough. But then comes the downfall. These small symptoms begin to take full effect, and we see other symptoms such as a runny nose or a painful throat. We enter a full-fledged downfall into the sickness we denied that we had in the first place.

Stage 3: Acceptance.

As our symptoms worsen by the minute, we begrudgingly begin to accept the fact that we are getting sick, even though we vehemently denied the possibility in stage 1. At first we keep it to ourselves, thinking, "as long as I don't tell anyone, then maybe I'm not getting sick!" But when your roommate or your mother asks you how you are doing, the truth comes out, the dreaded: "I think I'm getting sick." And that's when you know you're done for.

Stage 4: Misery.

As previously mentioned, being sick in college is absolutely miserable. You're stuck in a germ-infested dorm, and have to walk across campus to eat your meals. As a result, you often skip meals and lay in bed all day. Although you may not be hungry, not eating doesn't help your body. If you're lucky, you'll have bottled water in your mini fridge, but you don't have the array of options from orange juice to warm apple cider to soothe your pain. You ask your roommate to bring you back soup and crackers from the dining hall. You take the medicine that you do have, which may be nothing more than Ibuprofen.

When sick in college, you have two options: tough it up and go to class, but fail to retain any information because you are so dead, or stay in bed and sleep through class, which, although your body will thank you for it, your grade suffers as a result. College students can't afford to fall behind, but when we're sick, we don't really have a choice. You can go to the campus health services (ours is only open on the weekdays, though), but the most you'll give you is maybe some Tylenol, so you're better off just staying in bed and suffering through it.

Stage 5: Netflix.

The initial misery begins to succumb to extreme boredom. You are too sick to get out of bed, or do any real schoolwork, so you slowly become bored out of your mind. When you get to the point where you've refreshed the social media on your phone twenty times in the past hour, you begin to look elsewhere for something to pass the time... Netflix.

You binge-watch Netflix to distract yourself from your physical condition, and fall asleep doing so. One good thing about getting sick is you get to catch up on your sleep! Your body needs more of it, and more so than you might think.

Stage 6: Slight relief.

You finally begin to feel a bit of slight relief. It may be the pain in your throat lessens, or your body aches don't feel as constricting, or you no longer feel like you may throw up at any minute. The slight relief you begin to feel in this stage reminds you of the light at the end of the tunnel, and that you really aren't dying, and that you are going to recover eventually.

Stage 7: Healing.

As your symptoms decrease in severity, you begin to feel a bit like yourself again. Your voice no longer sounds as horrendous, and you're down to blowing your nose twice an hour rather than twice a minute. The recovery is a long, slow process, but you have faith that you'll survive.

Stage 8: Back to normal.

You wake up and the headache is gone, the stomachache is gone, and you no longer feel dizzy. It's almost too good to be true, that you don't believe it at first. You keep waiting for the pain to slam your body, but it doesn't. You begin to believe that maybe, just maybe, you've healed completely. As the day progresses, you discover that you're back to normal, HALLELUJAH! Go out and celebrate while you have your health.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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