Being sick at college vs. sick at home

CASEY TRIMM – For the past two months or so, it seems as though the plague has hit campus with countless cases of the flu, strep, common cold, stomach bugs, etc. We all do our best to stay as healthy as possible by keeping up with simple habits like washing our hands and taking daily vitamins.

But as I lay in bed with a runny nose, cough, occasional fever and chills, the flu and strep throat, I recognize that sickness is a hard thing to avoid on a college campus.

Congested classrooms, dining halls and germ infested residence halls make it hard to dodge the waves of sickness that crash throughout campus.

Throughout my sickness so far, I’ve realized that being sick at home and being sick at school are two completely different things.

For starters, when you’re sick at school, classes, extracurriculars and homework don’t patiently wait for you to get better. It’s nice to have understanding professors and helpful classmates, but the homework definitely starts to add up when you can’t do it because you struggle to just get out of bed.

This is the worst part of being sick at school for me, considering I’d rather prioritize my health and sleep all day than complete assignments.

Second, and hear me out with this one, I love my bed at Denison, but it is nothing compared to my bed at home.

There’s something about being at home and having the luxury of being able to plop in bed all day when your sick. If you need more pillows, covers or your dog to cuddle with, it’s all right there.

Another huge player in the sick game is food. Curt, Huff and Slay only have so many bowls of soup. Sure Panera and Giant Eagle have some decent soup, but they’re nothing compared to my mom’s homemade chicken noodle.

For some reason, it’s the combination of the smell in my house from cooking it to the many spoonfuls I slurp that instantly help me feel a little bit better.

Lastly, I wouldn’t say I have the worst case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but it sucks seeing everyone else out and about having a good time while I’m stuck in bed.

I don’t mean to complain, but I think we can all agree that no one wants to miss out on a good time because they’re sick.

From the consistent work that never seems to slow down to missing the subtleties of home, being sick at school is definitely a challenge. Obviously, our physical and mental health needs to be prioritized, so it’s important to look out for ourselves and others.

While being sick at school is a huge burden, it has shown me the considerate, thoughtful campus that I’m a part of. Not only have I witnessed the flexibility and understanding of my professors with exams, quizzes and homework, but I’ve also rediscovered the kindness and compassion of my friends and classmates.

Between boxes of Slayter, jugs of soup, trips to Urgent Care and just simple texts asking how I’m doing, I’ve definitely felt cared for. It’s little gestures like this that can help someone feel better.

Being sick at school may be one of the worst things ever. We can all have speedy recoveries if we look out for each other and try to make Denison everyone’s home away from home.

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