Image credit: PBS

Let’s be honest… when I was a kid, getting sick was actually kinda fun. I got to skip school, lay on the couch watching cartoons all day, eat Saltine crackers and ginger-ale (which was really excited coming from a family that didn’t drink much soda), and most importantly, mommy was there to fulfill my every need.

Man how I miss those days.

Cut to first semester, freshman year. I start getting the sniffles and accurately predict that I have at last picked up the cold that had been going around my dorm hallway. My mom could do little for me over the phone, and I had lab reports and papers due, so playing hooky for a few days was definitely out of the question. Way to take all the fun out of being sick, college.

Now that it’s my sixth semester here, I’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with the colds and occasional flu that seem to come almost each semester like clockwork. Since I’m just getting over the most recent onslaught of germs which had me pretty well incapacitated for the past couple of days, I thought what better time than now to reflect on my technique:

Step 1: Call Mom. Yeah, she can’t make me soup or smother me in six layers of blankets, but I’m sick. I want my mommy.
Step 2: Inventory current stock of Kleenex and Dayquill/Nyquill. Generic brands are totally fine. It’s college after all.
Step 3: Analyze schedule. I figure out what I can skip and what I really need to attend. This will vary depending on how sick I feel. The key is clearing time to sleep. 14 hour nights are totally acceptable for a day or two. The more you sleep, the quicker your body can fight the germs off, and the sooner you’ll be back to tip top shape.
Step 4: Realize that you don’t have enough medicine, you feel really crummy, and you still want your mommy.
Step 5: Enter friends. This is what makes it all okay. Special thanks to my roommate Mollie who made a trip to Ralph’s at 11:30pm on Sunday night to get me medicine so that I could sleep. Thanks to my friend Lindsay who brought me chicken noodle soup (as well as “minestrone if you’re feeling healthy and alphabet if you’re feeling adventurous”). Thanks to everyone who let me copy your notes from the classes I missed, and to Lisa, who helped me out as I furiously attempted to finish an assignment that I did not have enough brain power to understand.
Step 6: Let time pass, and you’ll be fine.

And that’s really it folks.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”  ~Doug Larson