Getting sick is the absolute worst, especially in college. Your mom isn’t there to take care of you, some professors can have a “tough luck” attitude about missing class or assignments, and you are more than likely miserable with symptoms of illness. With winter and finals approaching, chances are you may find yourself under the weather, so I thought I would provide you with some ideas on how to beat a winter cold!

I know that when I don’t feel the greatest, I jump into action to get healthy as quickly as possible. I advocate for myself and take the time I need to get well and even if it means canceling plans with a friends I know they’ll understand.

But if you’re not as sure of what your next steps should be, a great free option is to call WSU’s Ask-A-Nurse Message Line at 507.457.2292. Although I have not used it myself, I have heard that nurses call you back within two hours during the business day or the next day if you call after hours.

You can also make an appointment for healthcare services at Health & Wellness Services in the Integrated Wellness Complex. I have gone there for everything from strep tests to a sinus infection. The staff are so nice and very helpful!

Besides using healthcare when appropriate, there are somethings that I do that I find super helpful for me. Some may be familiar to you and sound repetitive, but that’s because they are important and work!

Hydrate yourself!

Staying hydrated will aid in flushing out all the nasty toxins you have accumulated. Drinking water not your thing? Try Sprite, tea, or orange juice. Orange juice contains vitamin C, and Sprite can help to settle an upset stomach if that is what you’re dealing with. While Sprite is not as good as regular old H2O, it’s best to stay hydrated.

Make yourself a Get Well Kit!

Nerdy and effective. In my personal sick-kit, I have Tylenol, Sprite, saltines, a thermometer, barf bags, vitamin C, cough drops, band aids, first aid ointment, and Vicks VapoRub. These kits can really come in handy when you don’t feel great!

Get sleep and don’t push it.

If you need to take a day off of classes to get back to feeling 100%, it is not the end of the world. Get your full 8 hours of sleep for once in your college career, and take it easy. You’re only going to make yourself worse if you push it too much.

Sometimes, getting sick is unavoidable. If you do get sick, make sure to keep your professors in the loop if you have to miss class. There is a better chance they will be understanding if you give them a heads up BEFORE you miss anything important. And above all else- get well soon!