It's inevitable. The life of a college student is always on-the-go with classes, homework, exams, extra-curricular activities and a social life (which at IU, includes those ever-important basketball games). With a lifestyle that makes eating healthy, regularly exercising, and getting enough sleep a bit of a challenge, you're bound to get sick at some point, whether it be a cold, the flu, a sinus infection, or something else. And with thousands of other students surrounding you each day, catching something is that much easier. This time of year is especially bad.
Being sick at college is especially hard as a freshman, when, for the first time, you don't have your parents by your side at all times to take care of you. This is a great opportunity to learn how to take care of yourself! Unfortunately, this has happened more times this year than I would have liked. Here's what has worked for me:
1. Drink lots of fluids, particularly water and tea. Keep a water bottle in your room and refill it at the water fountain as needed. You'll be surprised how much better you feel when you're drinking a lot of water. Hot tea, which you can find in dining halls and C-stores, also feels really good and helps clear your sinuses a little. During my most recent illness, I kept a carton of orange juice in my refrigerator, and that helped too. So just drink a lot of fluids. Here's my handy dandy water bottle!
2. Eat soup. Hot soup works wonders when you're sick. C-stores sell microwaveable containers and dining halls have a soup bar with different options each day. Hillel even has a service that delivers freshly-made soup to your residence if you call!
3. Keep tissues around at all times. I think this one's pretty self-explanatory.
4. Sleep. Being sick makes you tired, so stay in bed as much as possible. If you're so tired that you can't move, don't try going to class. It takes a lot of energy to walk to classes and pay attention in them, and besides, you don't want to get your classmates and professors sick! Everyone will understand. Depending on the timing of your illness, you may also have to sacrifice a night or weekend out. It happens, but there's always next weekend. It's not worth making yourself feel worse.
5. When in doubt, go to the health center. We have a health center conveniently located right in the middle of camups across the street from the Wells Library. They allow walk-ins and will find a doctor to see you without too long of a wait (but that depends on the time of day). Here, you can also purchase any necessary medications.
Of course, keep in touch with your parents while you're sick. They can still offer support, advice, and comfort. Most times, you'll only be sick for 2-3 days.
These methods have proven well for me when I'm sick, but find something that works for you. Whatever it is, just take care of yourself. You'll feel better in no time!