Caroline: Being Sick Away From Home

Its that time of year again when everyone and their mother is sick. Except your mother is actually no where to be found and you’re in your room at college, alone, wishing she could bring you some soup. One of the biggest differences with being sick at school versus at home is that everyone around you just stays away because they don’t want to get sick either. Your mom doesn’t care about getting sick, she just wants you to get better! And of course your friends want you to get better too, they’ll just help you from a distance. Like throwing you a tissue from across the room or translating for you when your voice is too sparse.
Probably the worst thing about having a cod at college, especially BU, is that you have to walk 20min to and from class. Walking the the cold with a sore throat and runny nose is probably the equivalent to swallowing a cup of nails and screw. Vivid image, I know, but just imagine how I felt. The other thing that’s hard is having all of your classes on Tuesday/Thursday. No class on Fridays? Sounds great until you have a 12 hour day and only one pack of tissues to get you through.
Some tips for surviving:
1. Take a day off from class. Its okay to miss if you’re really feeling under the weather. You have all the syllabi and know the work, just contact your professors to let them know ahead of time. Your health is more important than your school work (no matter how much you might think otherwise). This is one thing I didn’t do, but definitely wished I did because I honestly think I wouldn’t have been sick for as long.
2. Go to bed early. First of all, it takes way longer to fall asleep when you’re sick. Not to mention you need to give your body a rest and time to heal itself. I went to bed at 10pm every night.
3. Puffs tissues. Yeah they’re a little more expensive, but your nose will thank you. I promise you that when I was away from home using travel packs of two-ply tissues and folded toilet paper I felt like one of those poor red-nosed children in the puffs commercials.
4. Zicam tablets. I text my mom and told her I was sick (a few days into my torturous illness) and the first thing she said to me was “take zinc”. You have to let Zicam dissolve on your tongue and its unpleasant but it really does help shorten colds.
5. NyQuil? I’m not quite sure if my off-brand version of DayQuil/NyQuil actually helped me sleep. It seemed like it took forever to fall asleep and once I did, I woke up every two hours. But some people swear by it. Maybe next time I’ll splurge on the real stuff.
6. Tea. Hot Tea. My cold started off as a sore throat, so tea (and hot water when un-caffinated tea was unavailable) was key (like that rhyme?). I had my
7. Take some tips from Florida. One of my favorite (often under the weather) Floridians, L.E. Charles, recommended to me two of her state’s great contributions to the world: Gatorade and Oranges (well, vitamin C, but its the same thing). Boost your immune system and get your body super charged to get rid of this cold!
I finally made it through a week or more of pure torture to realize that no matter how hard you try or how healthy you normally are, no one is immune to the common cold. (This is actually a scientific fact, because the virus is constantly mutating.) Just have loving, understanding people around to support you through this difficult time and use my tips for surviving. Also, a call home to mom can’t hurt, plus she’ll tell you everything you should do to get healthy, fast! But patience is key and you just have to let the virus run its course. Next time I have a cold, I think I might experiment with taking no medicine to see whether its even worth it… Hopefully you won’t read that blog post for a while because I do not plan on being sick again for a long time.

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