We all know that when you’re sick, you’re not supposed to go to school. Sometimes, unfortunately, this is not a realistic option—especially as a college student. With that said, we need some tools to deal with being sick, and how to go to class regardless of whatever small illness you’re suffering from (DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical specialist. If you’re seriously sick, just stay home or go to the doctor—this post is geared towards small issues. Take my advice with a grain of salt!)
Tip #1: Make sure you don’t have any symptoms that indicate a contagious illness. This includes, for instance, a high fever, deep coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are usually symptoms of a significant illness that is beyond the normal range of sickness.
Tip #2: Take care of yourself before going to class. Take a nice, hot shower, dress in clean clothes, organize all of your school items, and bring something preventative. Take allergy medication or something similar in the morning right when you wake up, in order to have a lasting effect. Personally, I like to wear thick socks and drink orange juice when I’m sick!
Tip #3: Be conscientious! Do everything in your power to avoid spreading whatever you have. This means covering your mouth when you cough and when you sneeze, as well as washing your hands often and thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to sit alone, or farther away from other people than you normally would. Inform others of how you’re feeling, and make sure those around you are doing what they can to avoid becoming sick as well.
Tip #4: Go home if something serious pops up. You can also go to classes late, or take a nap and go to class after you’ve woken up if you feel better. If you begin to feel harsher symptoms, like dizziness and faintness or stomach aches, either go home or go to the campus nurse. At UT, the University Health Services office (“healthyhorns”) offers cheap examinations from 8am-5pm M-F, almost every day! Take advantage of the services that your tuition dollars pay for!
Tip #5: Stay hydrated! One of the worst parts of being sick is the constant dehydration that follows you—whether or not you notice it. Drink a lot of water, and make sure that you don’t ever feel thirsty. Bring a water bottle (or two, or three), and drink it whenever you feel necessary.
Tip #6: Do everything you can to feel comfortable. Wear loose, comfy clothes like big sweaters and sweatpants (since we live in Texas, this might actually look like loose shorts and a t shirt). You can also shorten your morning routine and go for a makeup-free day!
Tip #7: Eat, even though you might be disgusted by the sight of food. Soups and broths are great options, and you can keep them in a thermos to stay hot. Being hungry is a bad way to get over being sick—food provides your body with energy, which you need to fight off your illness!
Tip #8: Get as much sleep as possible. Like I said earlier, it’s better to skip one class so that you feel well enough to go to the rest of them. Go to bed earlier than you normally would, or nap throughout the day whenever you have time. Make sure you stay well-rested. When you do sleep, make sure to sleep while propped up, so that fluid will drain from your nasal cavities! Drinking herbal teas can also help you fall asleep faster and more restfully.
Tip #9: Try to stay positive! A positive attitude can go a long way, even though you feel terrible. Smile at yourself in the mirror, smile at everyone you see, pet your dog, and tell your close friends that you love them!
Tip #10: Above all, don’t get sick in the first place. Keep your house clean and free of germs. Wash your hands regularly. Eat and drink enough, and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Drink tea and other hot drinks. Sanitize your work or office space. Take preventatives, like Cold-Eeze or Airborne tablets. Drink juices that are high in vegetable content. Keep your body healthy and happy!
Feeling sick? It’s better to be safe than sorry! Visit the University of Texas Health Services website to call or make an appointment.