Adulting 101: In Sickness And In Self
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Adulting 101: In Sickness And In Self

Everybody hurts sometimes.

Adulting 101: In Sickness And In Self

At the tender age of 18, we are bestowed with the title of “adult.” For 17 years, we live under the rules and guidelines of our parents, school, and government, and to stray from any of those rules or guidelines marks us as a rebel. At 18, though, we must choose which college we want to go to or what career we want. We are allowed and encouraged to vote. We can buy lottery tickets and cigarettes. We can drop out of school, leave our household, and do other "adult" things. At 18, we start down a path of thinking for ourselves, when for the entirety of our lives other institutions have been mandated to think and do for us.

By 18, we know the powerhouse of the cell is the mitochondria, and the a2 + b2 = c2, but most of us don’t how a W2 works, anything to do with finances, really, how to write a resume, how to apply for loans, how to sew a button onto a shirt. Entering adulthood can be scary. Being in the thick of adulthood can be scary. Really, when is life not scary? Unfortunately, life does not come with a manual, but it does come with experience, so fear not, readers. I’m here to school you in Adulting 101 – this edition: being sick (and being on your own).

My experience with illness when I was a child went something like this: “Mom? Mooom? Mooooooommmmm!” My mother was a champion of taking care of sick children; she held back my and my siblings’ hair, made us toast and 7Up, let us sleep in her room. Being sick while being on your own doesn’t make you want to cry for mom any less, it just means she won’t be there to respond.

The first step to taking care of yourself: Channel your inner Scout, and always be prepared. This means at the risk of concerning your RA or roommates, you’ll want to have a supply of all the over-the-counter drugs you can get your hands on. Cough medicine, DayQuil, NyQuil, Advil, Ibuprofen, allergy meds, Tums—anything!

The second step to taking care of yourself: Be ready for the call and respond. Especially with violent viruses, vomiting can be sudden and toilets can be far away. Just take my word and keep a bin nearby.

The third step to taking care of yourself: As rough as you feel, be sure to email your professors about the situation prior to missing their class. It’s also nice to have a class friend that you can get notes and information from as to not insult your professor with a “Hey prof, did we do anything in class today?” email.

The fourth step to taking care of yourself: Be courteous to your roommates. Clean up after yourself, keep your distance, spray some Lysol, and try not to cry too much. Added Bonus: don’t depend on your roommate to take care of you, but be grateful when they do. Being handed a cold rag or Ginger Ale is the next best thing to actually having a parent there to feel sorry for you.

The fifth step to taking care of yourself: Try to power through staying on top of your work, but getting rest is so important. Don’t feel bad for sleeping 18 hours of your day away, just work extra hard when you are back to health.

Being sick while being on your own has no rewards. It is not like the proud moment of taking care of your financial aid or finding your way around without a GPS. Being sick on your own is just a reality of adulthood. Here’s hoping for a happy and healthy New Year, but being ready to brave the darker days should they come. Here’s to taking care of your sickness by yourself — you’re doing adulthood so well!

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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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