The weather is finally cooling down and you’re finally comfortable with living in your home away from home. You might miss family from time to time, but your friends at school are life’s treasure.

The sun still shines and your thick sweatshirt is the perfect companion to the chilled breeze. Autumn brings  changing colors and falling leaves, but it also brings annoying stuffy noses and contagious coughs.

You catch a cold, you knew life was too good to be true. What do you do now that mom isn’t here? As someone who has lived away from home in every season, illness or not, here are my recommendations for revival in this sickly season:

1. Be prepared

Get cold and flu medicine, for day and night, at your first Target run. You don’t want to wait until it aches to move out of bed. To ensure you won’t get something worse than the common cold, get your flu shot. WSU Health Services provides flu shots to all students, just make an appointment! All you have to do is call 507.457.5160.

Other items to have on hand:

  • Hot tea (with honey)
  • Cough drops
  • Tissues

2. Accept the care

Yes, you want to warn your friends you’re sick, but also don’t be afraid to ask for help; that’s what friends are here for! Take the cough drops and accept the hot tea, it’s an act of love. Bonus points if you’re gifted with Gatorade!


3. It’s not the end of the world

This temporary ailment isn’t worth the negativity. Understand that set-backs like this happen, you’ll push through soon. If you need extra health advice outside of what your friends tell you, call the Ask-A-Nurse message line at 507.457.2292. A nurse will be able to provide you with answers of what to do, and what your symptoms might mean.

4. Forget studying and nap it off

You might think you don’t have time to rest, and sometimes you might not. Take into consideration that you can’t perform your best until you take a snooze and take care of yourself. If a nap really isn’t an option, try to get to bed earlier; sleep is the gateway to recovery.

5. Call your family

Let your parents know how much you appreciated their care and how you admittedly took it for granted. Talking to them over the phone or video chatting can bring a sense of home to your home-away-from-home. Mom or Dad just always know the right things to say that can make you feel a bit better.

Keep in mind: “Being sick is just your body’s way of saying you’re way too awesome, and you need to slow down, so everyone else can catch up” –Unknown.

These little tips will come as lifesavers sooner or later. Getting sick when you’re away from mom can be a drag and it’s even easier to catch a cold when living in such close quarters with roommates. Value your good health while you still have it!

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Gretchen Leif

Gretchen is from Inver Grove Heights, MN and she is a Health Education & Physical Education major with an Developmental Adaptive Physical Education (DAPE) minor. Her hobbies include writing, running, and creating art.

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