As winter approaches you've definitely noticed that your lectures have begun to be peppered with coughs and sneezes between PowerPoint slides. This is inevitable because the mix of increasingly chilly weather and a bunch of people living in close quarters for a long period of time creates the perfect conditions for a cold to spread like wildfire, until it feels like everyone on campus has some variation of the same sickness. Illness always sucks, but there are ways to make it bearable and to get over it quickly if you use these tips and tricks.
1. Stay in.
Do not go to class if you are sick. It's a lose-lose situation because you don't want to be there due to feeling like death reincarnated, and everyone else doesn't want you there either for fear they will be your cold's next victim. Just stay in your dorm because the more rest you get the faster you'll be able to get back to your normal schedule, therefore missing fewer classes in the long run.
2. Get plenty of sleep.
Do I really have to tell you twice to sleep, sleep, sleep? It's all college students want to do, after all. The more sleep you get, the more likely you will be to wake up feeling like a new person.
3. Drink lots of liquids.
By "liquids" I means water, Gatorade, tea or any other drinks with restorative properties. You shouldn't drink alcohol, which doesn't mix well with medicine and also dehydrates you, which is counterproductive. Also, milk tends to make mucus and phlegm thicker, which will only make your cough worse, and carbonated beverages aren't healthy in the first place. If you have a really bad sore throat, gargling with warm salt water is also a good thing to do.
4. Maintain cleanliness.
While it might be tempting to lay in bed for three days straight without moving, that's not really hygienic. You need to make yourself get up and take a hot shower, which will open up your sinuses and just make you feel healthier if you are clean. Also, keep the things you touch sanitized, in order to help prevent your roommate from catching your plague.
5. Tylenol in moderation.
Tylenol is a form of acetaminophen, which is not only a painkiller that will help with any pain you feel from a sore throat or a headache, but it is also a fever reducer. Once your fever breaks, you are one step closer to getting back on your feet.
6. Cough drops don't only taste like candy.
If you have a sore throat, I have no idea why you would not have a lozenge. They will sooth your throat, help with your cough and they taste yummy. What more could you ask for? Other than not to be sick that is.
7. Go to the doctor if necessary.
Don't let yourself suffer excessively. If you are just not getting better, take advantage of your university health services and get yourself checked out, because it might be something more than just a common cold. If that's the case, you should get help right away.
Feeling less than your best is never fun, so even if you're not sick now, take preventative measures to keep yourself healthy. However, if you do happen to catch the college crud, use this advice to get yourself well so that you can continue having an awesome college experience.
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