Oberlin Blogs

We be illin'

November 16, 2008

Alice Ollstein ’10

With the first snowflakes of winter inevitably come the colds, coughs, flus and unclassifiable bugs that jump from body to body until the whole campus is infected. No matter how much we wash our hands and refrain from smooching, since dorms are petri dishes the virus finds us and we end up sick. Great. Not only am I far from my Mom's tender loving care, but I can't afford to lounge in bed drinking tea until I get well. I have a mountain of homework, more extracurriculars than is considered healthy, and enough meetings to keep me running around in the snow wiping my nose on my sleeve.

This all would be awful if Oberlin weren't full of the kindest people in the world. Over this cold, gray weekend, one friend brought me hot green tea, another made me mac and cheese and another sipped spiced cider with me while watching Wallace and Gromit. I was scheduled to do clean-up crew at the coop, but not wanting to infect the entire kitchen, I got a few kind souls to cover for me. Since I eat in Old B, the coop furthest from campus, and it was frigid on Saturday night, another dear friend brought me some of her coop's special meal, which was themed after the cartoon Doug. While I scarfed down the Beets and Killer Tofu (if anyone gets the references, you are awesome), she produced a head of garlic and instructed me to swallow a couple chunks raw. Garlic, as all good coopers know, is a powerful antioxidant, and if nothing else a great placebo for sickly Obies. Does it reek? Yes. Did I feel better the next day? Yes indeedy.

Now, my weekend illness was minor. If you get really sick at school, physically, mentally, or emotionally, there are many ways to cope. First of all, our student health clinic is right up the road and ready to serve, as is the hospital in case of emergency. There are also several councilors available for anything from trauma to just needing to talk. Professors are also really understanding about illnesses. I know many people that have gotten extensions on assignments until they recuperated. That said, nothing helps you heal faster than friends, and at Oberlin, they're all around you.

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