Being sick is one of the most stressful situations a student can endure with finals and research papers coming up around the corner. Of course you had to get a cold the night before your exam. What should you do when you’re suffering from colds, fevers, headaches, the flu and the widespread I’m-taking-too-many-credits-AF syndrome?
1. Take an Actual Chill Pill
You are not to blame for this sickness you have contracted, and should only therefore kick back and relax. “Basically go into hibernation. I watch comedy shows like 30 Rock to keep my spirits up and get a lot of rest,” said University of Virginia student Tara Raj. If you haven’t already subscribed, get a free week trial of Hulu or Netflix. TV passes the time like nothing else can.
2. Make Sure You Don’t Die
Regular check that your temperature isn’t crazy high (anything over 103 means you need to go to the hospital ASAP, yo!). If you’re cold one minute and hot the next, grab the thermometer. “Besides good sleep and plenty of fluids, still see a doctor—it might be worse than you think,” said University of Virginia student Robby Hampton. Of course, definitely stay hydrated.
3. Get the Bare Necessities
Don’t be scared to ask a roommate for a cough syrup re-up. That Nyquil might actually be your saving grace, because sleep does miracles for every kind of sickness. A cup of hot tea, plus a generous splash of honey, also goes a long way clearing up sinus congestion.
4. Don’t Be a Debbie Downer
You’re sick, but your life isn’t in shambles (although, it might be when that orgo exam gets graded). Don’t be sad, get glad! Enjoy the sympathy you get from friends, coworkers and teachers. Watching something funny—laughter can go a long way on the road to recovery.
5. Give the People What They Want!
Don’t go skipping classes or group projects without notifying professors and group members. You’ll thank yourself later for sending an emailing asking what you should do to need to make things up. “I email professors if it’s a small enough class. If you’re enduring a longer sickness, professors are typically accommodating,” said UVA student Atallah Hezbor.
6. Shake It Out
Do some kind of physical activity to take your mind off your sickness and get that blood flowing. Taking a brisk walk to get fresh air or biking around campus can get your heart pumping in a revitalizing way, especially when you’ve had no choice but to be a couch potato. “When I’m feeling sick, I like to try and clean my room/apartment because its low energy, makes you feel like you’re doing something productive and lets you be in the comfort of your own home,” said UVA student Lona Manik.
7. Eat like Jesus
Eating healthy will ensure you get the right vitamins and nutrients your body needs to produce antibodies and flush out the bad boys in your system. If your tummy is troubled, try peanut butter on banana toast or soup and saltines. If you got body aches, try avocados, nuts or leafy greens. “Soup, apple sauce, yogurt, cough drops and hot tea,” are all UVA student Ani Bournazian needs.
8. Don’t Drink, Dummy
When you’re sick, drinking alcohol can lengthen the road to recovery. Getting trashed makes you dehydrated, which ensures your potential hangover will be much worse than usual. Instead, consider delicious healthy liquids. “However, when you’re finally sure you’re healed up, celebrate your triumphant victory over the tragic sickness. “Everyone needs tequila from time to time,” University of Virginia student Arthur Daquer said.
9. Get By with a Little Help from Your Friends
If you’re not contagious, have your best buddies come bring you soup—maybe you’ll get lucky and the cute girl from your chem lecture will surprise you with a thermos of chicken noodle. Hey, ya never know. Of course, you can always Skype your grandma and catch up on life if you’re feeling desperately lonely.
10. Change Your Ways
Sometimes it takes a breakdown to build yourself up. Maybe you should wash your hands more, or stop making out with randos at sketchy bars. Maybe you should sleep more—as in start homework before midnight and go to bed before 3 a.m. Keep your head up and take your trauma as a learning experience.