While most aspects of autumn are great (flavored lattes, the fashion, Halloween), there’s one major part that looms over everybody’s heads – getting sick. Whether it’s a small case of the sniffles or the flu, it seems like everybody gets sick when the temperature drops. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman away from home for the first time or a fifth-year senior – being sick when you aren’t in the comfort of your own home sucks. For those times where your mom can’t appear by your bed with chicken soup, here are some things you can do to help yourself feel better:
Keep chicken soup on hand
Not only is it delicious on a chilly day, it will prevent and help treat simple illnesses like the common cold. While the chicken and noodles are the best parts, make sure to drink as much of the broth as possible because that’s what really makes you better.
Nyquil is your best friend
It lets you do this awesome thing that’s almost impossible when you’re sick – sleep. While I think the liquid tastes like what I imagine battery acid tastes like, it will knock you out for a good eight hours. They come in gel caps too, and while they’re easier to handle, they are horse-sized pills and are a tiny bit weaker than the liquid.
Vitamin C, Vitamin C, Vitamin C
You can either buy these in supplements or in my personal favorite form, good ol’ fashioned orange juice. This is essential in preventing illnesses, so try to have a glass of OJ every day.
Soup crackers and ginger ale
If you’ve got a stomach virus and you don’t want to end up dehydrated and in the hospital, slowly sip on ginger ale and eat a couple of saltine crackers. Don’t go too fast or it’ll just reappear – slow and steady wins the race with a stomach bug. Ginger ale is a random thing to have on hand, so flat Coke does work just as well as ginger ale – just make sure it’s flat, because all the carbonation will make you instantly sick.
Keep a handful of tissues in your backpack
We’ve all sat next to That Guy who’s sniffled throughout the entire lecture – don’t be That Guy. Keep some tissues in your backpack. If you’re in a lecture and can’t blow your nose by a garbage can without disturbing a bunch of people, quietly do it at your seat. Trust me, your neighbors would rather that than listening to you sniffle every minute.
If you’re truly sick, go to the doctor
Don’t put this off. If you can’t go to class and have flu-like symptoms, make an appointment with University Health Services. At the end of the day, your health is the most valuable thing you have.
Skype with your mom and dad
Even if your family can’t physically be next to you, Skyping or have a Face Time call can make you feel better while getting your mom’s advice. (Note: this also works for home sickness, too.)
Photo by Jessica Korch