It’s that time of year again – common cold season. The contagious cold bug seems to infect all college students at one point or another as the weather gets colder, bringing on watery eyes, stuffy noses and achy sinuses.
But the thing about college is that we don’t have time for a cold to set us back. We’ve got places to go, people to see, and no time for an annoying sickness. So how do we combat the common cold and avoid a total shutdown? In the words of Elsa from “Frozen,” “conceal, don’t feel.”
As college students, we’ve developed our own way of pushing through. Valley asked around to find out how our peers kick their colds.
“If I ever even think for a second that a cold is coming on, I drink Emergen-C,” says junior Haley Altus. “I like to think it helps a lot.”
Emergen-C is a vitamin-filled drink mix that helps to support your immune system at the first sign that it’s failing. Mixed with water, the fizzy, fruit flavored drink tastes… half bad.
“I hate it. It tastes horrible but I just hold my nose and drink,” says Altus.
At the end of the day, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. If you suspect a cold, Altus suggests heading over to CVS or McLanahan’s to pick up a bulk pack.
Cough drops – also known as lifesavers when you’re in a large lecture hall and having a cough attack in the back of the room.
In the winter months, sophomore Hannah Lund doesn’t leave her apartment without cough drops in her backpack to avoid just that. And while they may not heal her sore throat or help her to get any better, at least cough drops help to alleviate the pain of a sore throat and the embarrassment of a cough attack. It’s all about getting by.
Sophomore John Michael Oleksa has found the perfect combination of medications to get him through his cold season. When he falls ill, he heads to CVS to pick up over-the-counter Sudafed and a pack of waters.
“I’ll take the Sudafed before class and it’s like my sinus congestion goes away, so I swear by that stuff,” he says. “Then I’ll make sure I’m drinking a lot of water too, to kind of clear my system. So it’s like my body is fooled that it’s better for the day.”
But of all things, perhaps the worst part about having a cold is the symptoms that prevent us from falling asleep at night – a runny nose, cough, lack of breathing. As college students, we look forward to our night’s sleep beginning at the very moment we open our eyes in the morning. And when we don’t get that sleep salvation – well, it’s not pretty.
To combat the lack of sleep, junior Kristina York swears by NyQuil. “Religiously,” she adds.
But really, if you’re feeling seriously ill, make sure to head to UHS or another doctor’s office for a real prescription before attempting to self-diagnose.