11 Things I Learned After Starting Off The New Semester Sick

11 Things I Learned After Starting Off The New Semester Sick

I wouldn't wish this nonsense on anyone.


Going into a new semester can always be frustrating. You don't have your routine down yet. There are all sorts of new people. there are new classes. You have to start everything all over again. There's a lot of moving parts. The one thing that can make all of this chaos just a little bit worse in nearly every aspect is adding an illness to it. I was fine for all of break, but the day before moving back in, what should add excitement to things more than an awful cough and a fading voice?

Here are all the things that I learned after starting off the new semester sick.

1. Unpacking sucks a LOT more

Unpacking and packing are my least favorite parts of traveling anywhere, but it sucks so much more when you want everything to be in order and you already feel like garbage and just want to crawl into bed with the mess around you.

2. You can't hang

When you come back to school, you get to see your friends again and it's very exciting. However, if you have any regard for your friends at all, you're going to be worried about them getting sick and you're dead tired anyway.

3. Everything seems like too much effort

Getting out of bed? Too much work. Going to the dining hall? WAY too much work. Everything just gets a lot harder to want to achieve.

4. Your first class sucks because you don't feel well

I know everyone already hates name, major, and one fun fact about yourself, but there's a definite challenge added to the game when you have no voice.

5. You don't want to cough all over your new classmates

There is no convenient place to have a cough other than at home in bed. That being said, your first few days of classes are a struggle because coughing is no one's friend, but when it has to happen, it does. It's gross and annoying and no one really wants to be around you, including you.

6. All you want to do is sleep

When every class is just a read-along from the syllabus, it's already hard to pay attention. When all you want to do is sleep and you have to sit through syllabus week, it's absolute torture.

7. There's all sorts of free food and you don't want to eat any of it

I don't know what it is about the first weeks of semesters, but everyone is trying to give you free food. It's the best when you're feeling up to it, but when you're under the weather it's all there and you don't even want it.

8. You're tied to a pill bottle

Medicine can help you feel great... while it lasts. You're trying to make it through your classes and are consistently counting down the hours until you can take medicine again.

9. You still have to do all of your work

Even when you have a sick day in college, no one will excuse you from your job, homework, and requirements of existence. You still have to do it all, no matter the circumstances.

10. You can't do any of the new semester activities

Much like the free food, there are always fun activities planned for students at the start of the semester. Likely, you're not feeling up to those either which sucks because they're only planned for the beginning of the semester.

11. You can't wait for the day that you feel better

I'm finally starting to be on an upswing with whatever I had and I can't wait for it to be over with. It's been a disgusting and tiresome first week and I don't wish first-week illness on anyone.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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