Sickness Reigns and Destroys Student Gains

Ben Scheppmann, Staff Writer

It goes without saying that being sick is never fun and always annoying. From the mild cold to severe cases of the flu, everyone has suffered at some point. Once one student gets sick, a slow chain of panic and illness spreads through the campus like a river through a canyon. Everyone says, “I won’t get sick, I never get sick!” or “I already had the (insert random illness), I can’t get that again!” yet the day comes when they get that headache and sore throat and it is all downhill from there.  

College is like marriage and every student takes the “In sickness and in health” vow, even if they don’t know it. Many students who suffer illness share a similar experience: they wake up one morning and feel terrible, down some ibuprofen, drag themselves to class, get back to their dorms, and crash. No matter if we are in perfect health or feel like we are dying, students feel obligated to attend their classes because it is easier to suffer in the classroom than to hurt their grades by missing an assignment or class session. 

So what can students do when they fall sick? Of course, we can take copious amounts of medication in a bid to pull through the days, but that is not always the best option when it comes to recovery or staying on top of work. So how should students do to stay in the loop? The best action to take is email your professors and let them know your problem. Tell them as far in advance what is happening, and if there isn’t a class schedule or coursework available online, ask them about the coursework for the day. Many professors are willing to work with you ahead of time about assignments you will miss. 

Last semester, I was down with the flu very close to finals week, and I emailed my professors to let them know what was going on. I then spent time in bed not only recuperating but working on the assignments they had assigned. When you get sick, you don’t need to look at it as a day off, look at it as working from home for the day. Many of us just play video games and watch Netflix when we get sick, so we clearly are able to do something, why not just be productive and do course work?

Keeping productive while sick but still capable is the ideal situation; get together all your work, stay home, and complete it before your next class. Still, the best option is to not get sick at all. Stay on top of your health. Get some multivitamins, drink more water, wash your hands, get your shots, all the same old stuff you’ve heard from parents, doctors, professors and more. As the spring semester continues and season continues to waver, you can’t hear these reminders enough. Take care of yourselves, and you can care for your college performance at the same time.