The Pros & Cons of Being Sick At College

Upon entering college this past fall, my older friends, college “experts” in their own right, warned me about several things: having more time outside of class doesn’t mean you have more free time, Netflix is a grade-killer, and being sick at college is the worst. My friend Mel told me she had literally been sick with a cold for almost half the year and it was miserable.

Fortunately for me, I have a very strong immune system, so I wasn’t too worried about a pesky cold bothering me for months on end. Up until this past week, I had not succumb to any serious sickness. I thought I was in the clear, considering it is (at least officially, if not temperature-wise) the spring.

Boy I was wrong.

Both about it being spring (because this past week the high was around 35 and it actually snowed on Friday!) and about avoiding sickness. I started feeling feverish and achy Tuesday afternoon and by Wednesday the fever was in full swing. While I will spare you the details of the past couple days, I figured a good ol’ list of pros and cons about college sickness would be appropriate.


Being sick just sucks

Whether you’re at home, sick, or work, being sick can just be miserable. You’re lethargic and achy, yet you still have to go about your day as usual or risk falling way behind in makeup work.

Home is the only place you want to be

Every friend I’ve talked to has warned me that when you get sick at college, you just want to be at home. This is 10000000% accurate! I wanted so desperately to go home and sleep in my own bed and have my mom make some soup for me. The fact that I couldn’t go home almost made me feel worse (if that was even possible).


College classes vs. high school

Unlike high school, where you’re stuck for 7 plus straight hours, the college class schedule makes it easier to survive a day of school. I have 4 classes Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but was able to take a couple quick naps to get through the day.

Food Options

While homemade soup from home is the ideal sickness food, I still had some decent options for food that didn’t involve going to the cafeteria. My super awesome roomie drove me to the Oneota Co-op for some soup and a panini one day.

Grab N’ Go is also a great option when you’re sick. They even have a “sick plate” that you can ask for, which comes with a propel drink, saltines, and a can of soup.

All in all, while it was a terrible week health-wise, I survived. Fortunately it was a light-week homework-wise and the weather was as icky as me, so it’s not like I missed any beautiful weather. Also, I learned first-hand how bad being sick at college is.

Some good ol' co-op broccoli soup really hit the spot.

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