The weather can't make up its mind and the time has come for the annual Oberlin plague. Two nights ago my e-mail was full of twenty unread messages, all from frantic co-oppers asking to switch their shifts because they were sick and couldn't crew. I have multiple friends who have pneumonia/bronchitis/the flu. I myself am feeling the too-familiar stuffiness and soreness from being forever stressed and under-rested. Sick again and using it as an excuse to procrastinate, I give you a handy-dandy how-to guide on being sick in college.
1. Hoard the cold care kits OSwell gives you at Orientation. Get more from your RAs/HLECs, too. CVS is too far to walk or bike in this weather when you're ill so it is good to have a hefty stock of supplies in advance. The kits have all the obvious essentials: tissues, ibuprofen, cough drops, veggie bouillon. But I also like to stash some Vitamin C, Throat Coat tea, instant soup, protein bars for when you need your strength back, and Vicks VapoRub because that ish is heaven on Earth.
2. Read this Autostraddle article on DIY cures for your sickness. (Seriously, the ginger ale is so good.)
3. Call your mother/father/best friend/guardian figure.
4. Take care of yourself with whatever strategies you've got. I call this the Distract, Indulge, Self-Care trifecta. Do activities that keep you busy so you don't have to think about how scratchy your throat is, treat yourself to whatever hair mask, banana oatmeal DIY facial, or foot scrub you have that will help you feel luxurious amidst the illness. I have tried all the home remedies in the book: honey + turmeric, crystals, neti potting, homeopathic supplements (whatever those are), Vitamins C, D, + B12, cranberries, slathering Vicks on in the shower, and anything else you or your grandma could come up with. Scrounge around Pinterest and explore which tactics are going to take care of you.
5. Try to do some deep breathing/stretching so that you can feel a little bit active and on the way to being well again.
6. Craft a sick set-up next to your bed. Mine includes my trusty humidifer, Ricolas, Vicks, ear drops, tea, water, Gatorade, my favorite stuffed animal, and a good childhood book.
7. E-mail your professors, don't go to class, don't feel bad about it, and sit in bed to watch ALLLLLLLL the Netflix.
8. Milk being sick for all it is worth! Pull in all the favors you have! Now is the time to beg your friends to go to The Local and get you a cream cheese and pesto bagel!
9. Allow your body to get all the rest it needs. I see so many Obies trying to power through being sick and they end up having colds and coughs for weeks. It's just not worth it. Let yourself take a total break for a day or two in order to get better.
And on that note, I'm going to put down my laptop, turn off my e-mail alerts, put my phone on silent, and go curl up in bed with my book and green tea. I've had a chest cold for the better part of two weeks and I need a break. Wish me well and I'll chat with you soon!
P.S. Give me comments on other "What is ___ like in college?" posts you'd like to read!