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Welp, I’m Sick

Lucas describes how he's dealt with his first sickness in college.

Lucas describes how he's dealt with his first sickness in college.

It was bound to happen. Still, I was in denial. Two days into an increasingly scratchy throat, I was still insistent it would go away. But by Tuesday “scratchy” turned to sore, and “everything is fine” turned to “my head hurts my nose is stuffy and I want my mommy”.

So the most harrowing college task yet began. I’d kind of always dreaded my first college illness. First, it would mean possibly missing class, at a place where doing so can be terrifying due to the pace at which courses progress. Second, it’d entail taking care of myself, something I’m not quite good at yet (my last post notwithstanding). So I always saw getting sick in college as a major hurdle I just didn’t even want to think about, which may serve to explain why I was so slow to admit it to myself once it finally happened.

But I’m here to tell you that you can, in fact, survive! It took a day or so, but once I finally accepted that I was under the weather and needed to start behaving as such, I figured out a few resources I had at my disposal.

First, my amazing Carleton professors. I got in touch when I needed to miss class, I emailed about questions I anticipated having ahead of time, and emailed again when I came up with new questions in retrospect. Emailing my professors is something I’ve gotten better at during my time here at Carleton, in part, I think, because they’re better at replying to emails than I am. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve had to wait more than two hours to get a response from anyone here. It’s pretty cool.

Second, my amazing friends! I’ve gotten myself to reach out a little when I can tell I’ve missed something important in class, and everyone has been incredibly kind, supportive, and helpful in assisting with my catch-up. Which is part of why I picked Carleton in the first place! Also, it’s just fun learning from friends sometimes.

Third, my bed. My wonderful, comfy bed. I’ve been so determined to get rid of this bug that I’ve napped the heck out of this week. I think my record was four-ish hours on Tuesday. And it really has helped. I’ve been sick for about five days now, and I finally think the worst of it is behind me as of today.

a dorm room bed, with a poster and pennant on the wall
My Wonderful Comfy Bed™

So I guess you could characterize my past week as Self-Care: Level Two. Also in that regimen has been lots of vitamin C, and a general change in diet. I’ve avoided dairy to help keep my congestion in check, which is easy since the dining halls are always stocked with dairy alternatives like rice and soy milk. Also, I love rice and soy milk, so it’s a win-win.

I’ve made a point of having tea with every meal, as well. This has also been easy, because the dining halls come with a host of tea options. During my random bout of nausea early into this entire affair, the ginger tea was especially helpful. In Sayles, my tea of choice has been chamomile, because the chamomile there rocks.

This week has also finally forced me to start bundling up more. It’s been an adjustment, learning to actually wear layers every day, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. And it’s fun wearing my winter (er, fall) clothes!

Monday night was a horrible night of sleep for me, so on Tuesday and Wednesday I made use of the NyQuil I packed. Tonight, though, I don’t think I’ll need it. So all in all, lessons learned, situation improving. Can’t ask for more.

And on the bright side, this weekend is Family Weekend. So I actually can get some good old-fashioned Mom’s Chicken Soup if I need or so desire. Lucky timing, I guess.

Lucas just entered his freshman year at Carleton, bringing with him a passion for all things nerdy and a talent for overthinking and awkwardness (and self-deprecation). He hails from Pasadena, California, and yes, he realizes it gets cold out here. Currently wildly undecided, he can see himself attempting a Physics and Cinema and Media Studies double major, although Chemistry, Economics, and Computer Science (among many other subjects) have been tempting him as well. He misses his bearded dragon.

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