Being sick when you are in college can be really awful. It’s not the greatest that you are away from the comforts of your family’s home. Sometimes missing only a few classes due to illness can cause some serious problems for your grades. Below are some tips that will help when you navigate what to do when you are sick in college.

  • Stay Healthy

    The most ideal way to survive being sick at school is to avoid becoming sick in the first place. This is easier said than done as college is an ideal place for germs and viruses to spread due to the proximity of students living in dorms, and the oftentimes less than healthy lifestyle students live. To avoid getting sick:

    ~ be careful about what you share (such as a drink at a party, makeup, or other toiletries)

    ~ get all your vaccines

    ~ wash your bedding regularly and sanitize frequently used surfaces in your house/ dorm

    ~ get an adequate amount of sleep and exercise to keep your immune system healthy

  • Seek accommodations

    If you have a chronic illness or an ongoing condition that you know has the potential to cause you to miss class, it is best to address this as early in the term as you can. Go to the accommodations or disabilities office at your school. You will probably need to provide documents from your doctor. Then, the accommodations/ disabilities office will sit down with you and decide what accommodations you need. One example could be that your professors could record the lecture for you if you miss class. The important tip here is that the earlier you can set these accommodations in the term, the more successful they are.

  • Stock up on supplies

    When you were sick at home, your parents probably brought you soup or kept the kitchen well stocked with everything you may need. Well, you’re on your own now, so it is time for you to get the food and medicine you need. Go to the store and stock up on juice and healthy fluids, soup, and medicine.

  • Communicate with your professors and classmates

    If you miss class because you were sick, email your professor to let them know. Do this even if you think that your professor doesn’t care about your attendance or if your missed class was an allowed absences (a 3 credit class normal allows for 3-4 absences). In your email, convey to your professor that you have an idea of what was covered in class that day, and ask if you need to do anything extra to prepare for the next class. Also reach out to a classmate to see if you can look over the notes they took in class, or fill you in on any details you may have missed.

  • Use your own judgement

    When your are feeling sick, it can be easy to justify skipping class. However, before you make the decision, weigh the pros and cons. If you skip class, you may get to rest in bed, but you also might miss some important information. The important question to ask yourself is, “are you so sick you can’t even show up and sit in a desk?” The answer maybe “yes,” but sometimes it’s better to push through not feeling well.