Freshman Five: What to Do When You're Sick

Last week I posted about how to avoid getting sick - here's the counterpart to that for when you *unavoidably* get sick.

Okay, so you tried your hardest not to get sick, but you still did. That's okay, that's normal! Your body is under a lot of stress from classes and any other activities you may be a part of, and it can get tired. Usually, getting sick means your body is telling you to slow down, so listen to it!

Visit a Health Center // When you're really sick, you know it. Going to class is not only stressful on your body, but you may also be exposing other students to whatever you have - some professors are willing to tell you to go home if you're too sick! If it's something bad like a stomach flu, I know it's hard and it sucks but if you're really concerned about classes, try to make it to the health center or to an urgent care so they can make sure it's not something dangerous and they may even give you something to help, and afterwards just ask them for a note to send your professors.

Force Yourself to Eat Something // Many times when I'm sick, I know I don't have much of an appetite, but I force myself to eat something because your body needs to be able to draw energy from somewhere. Soup and saltine crackers are definitely my #1 go-to when I get sick. I unfortunately got sick last semester and I didn't want to eat anything - I didn't realize that not eating was actually making me feel worse, but luckily my suitemate did. I'm not saying you should gorge your stomach, but that you should make sure you're eating, even if just a little bit.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate // This is a tip that I had completely forgotten about when I was sick last semester until my friend Casey reminded me about it! Drinking lots of fluids and keeping your body hydrated is really important when you get sick, because your body needs even more water than usual to fulfill its daily functions and clear out any toxins. Additionally, if you're sweating a lot or throwing up, you should really help your body by replacing the fluids you're losing. Hydrating is not only better for your body, but it will help you feel a bit better in the long run.

Get What You Need // I like being prepared, so I keep small amounts of necessities from cough drops to ibuprofen. These are often little things you remember just having back home, but now that you're away from home, you are the one who has to make sure you have them. If the doctor gives you a prescription and tells you to take it, I suggest you not refuse to take it because you think you can handle it without the medication. Modern medicine has done a lot for us so far, just saying.

Get Some Rest, Go Sleep // SLEEEEEEEP. Sleep is important. It was on my last list and it is so important that it deserves to be on this one. College life is riddled with late nights and all-nighters, but when you're sick, your body is nowhere near equipped for that! When you sleep, your body is able to relax and recover, and if you're sick, you give your body time to fight off whatever you have. Also, sleeping while you're sick can be really fun and I know it makes me feel a lot better.

Getting sick in college really sucks, but you have to make sure you take care of yourself! Don't fall into thinking that it will just pass, because if you're body can't handle it, you'll be out of commission for a lot longer. Hope these tips help!

Catch you next time.


  1. Such good advice! I always overdo it when I'm sick so sometimes it's nice to have a reminder that it's OK to slow down and take it easy!

    1. Thank you, haha I always find myself having to think about that one!

  2. What a great idea for a post! I agree, hydration is so important all the time but especially when you're under the weather! Have a great weekend:)


  3. I'm just getting over a cold now and love these tips.
    Maryland Pink and Green

  4. Love this post!! Will definitely come in handy!



  5. I wish I had this advice when I was in college! You’re such a great mentor for all those young college kids out there.

    xo katie // a touch of teal

  6. Thanks for your helping post on getting over an illness while in school. I find all of the tips you shared helpful with the addition of two more. I find it helpful to stay away from others. No one wants to share in my cold. I also find it useful to use hand sanitizer often to prevent additional infections.


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