College 101: Caring For Yourself While Sick Away At School

College 101- Caring For Yourself While Sick Away At School

Since most schools are just now getting into the first semester, I thought this would be a handy post to make.

The first time I got sick and I was away at College, it was my second semester of freshman year. It was probably the 2nd week back at school from semester break. I had started this new job on campus and everything seemed to be going along fine. Walking back to the dorms after class, I realized I didn’t quite have an appetite and felt a bit more drained than normal.

My boyfriend at the time had decided to take an internship in Florida and had left the previous week. He was usually my ride everywhere, since I didn’t have my own car. I only had a few friends on campus with a car at the time.

As I hopped into bed after taking a hot shower, I noticed that I  had went from hot to now freezing cold in a mater of two seconds. That’s when I knew, I was coming down with something.

I called my mom and explained my symptoms. She quickly told me to get out that thermometer she had packed in the little first aid kit she made up for me. My mom made sure I had a few things for when I was sick like a thermometer, Tylenol etc. I took my temp and sure enough, I had a fever that was 101.

At home when you’re sick, you’re probably used to mom making you chicken noodle soup, checking your temp and wiping your head with a cool cloth. When you’re away at school 98% of the time you have no one to do this for you.

I felt so terrible!

My roommate was kind enough to go to the store for me and pick up some Sprite and soup for me which helped tremendously. Even if I would have had a car, I felt so horrible I don’t think I would have made it to the store.

Long story short, I wasn’t able to really keep anything down for almost 3 days. Yes! I missed class for 3 days and work.

It’s a different experience when you’re miles away from home and having to care for yourself, while sick for the first time so here’s some tips that will help:

Clear Liquids! Make sure you keep  a bottle of Sprite or Sierra mist on hand. It may be hard to stash in your fridge, but maybe stash it under your bed or in your closet. Place it somewhere someone else or yourself wont drink it. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, if possible. It will not only help the bug to pass, it will make sure you stay hydrated especially if your having trouble keeping things down.

Have Soup! There’s a running joke about college students and Ramen noodles, I know. Take it easy on your stomach though. Try to always have some light soup on hand like Chicken Noodle. Not only is it a warm snack to have on those cold night, your stomach will thank you!

Kleenex! There’s nothing worse than being sick and having to use that rough 1-ply toilet tissue the campus has, then ending up with a raw nose from blowing it so much

Try to conserve your energy! If you can have your professor send you the notes from class you missed or hookup with a classmate do it! You don’t want to get behind in your school work. Don’t go to class sick unless you absolutely have to…trust me your body and everyone else will thank you on this one!

Netflix it up! Have a movie marathon! Rest as much as possible. Your body’s fighting something and needs energy to do so. If you try to do too much too soon you’ll end up making yourself worse.

Go see a doctor! I know, I know you’re saying a doctor? I don’t have money for that. Many campus’s have a clinic or somewhere you can go in the city or town you live in. If symptoms last too long, go seek medical attention. Many cities have CVS or Walgreen’s that have clinics. Remember they can always bill you.

Last, but not least…

Disinfectant! Be nice to your roommate. Lysol after yourself. Get you a canister of those disinfectant wipes. You live in such tight quarters and I’m sure your roommate doesn’t want want you have or just had.

Hopefully this helps a bit…

You can’t fly or drive back home every time you get sick right? Mom isn’t there to take care of you and you have class and probably work you have to get back to.

Be prepared as cooler temps start hitting and cold/flu season approaches. Nothing’s worse than being sick and not having the stuff to help yourself get better.

-Nicole Alicia



Published by Nicole Alicia

Nicole Alicia is a fiction writer and blogger from Kansas City, Missouri. You can find her debut novel "Drama University" on!

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