Keeping Healthy at Harvard

My apologies for the silence these past two weeks, that’s what being sick for the better part of a month is like.

I always get really really sick for a ridiculously long time each semester.  Granted, it usually ends up being the end of the semester when my body is about to crash from the mental stress of finals.

Because of my numerous encounters with the common cold and the flu, I feel like I’m particularly knowledgeable about the ways to deal with these sicknesses.

 Inside, you’ll learn more about the quirks and tricks of keeping healthy at school, ways of minimizing contagion and other wondrous things. 

1) Stay away from sick people!

If only it were this easy. But if something is going around, everyone will be hacking up lungs or sniffling in lecture.

But if you can help yourself and not be particularly rude, try to give them some distance. We sick people understand, and we’re not offended. We just wish we had done the same earlier on.

2) Go to bed. 

Do not, however young and strapping you may be, try to work through an illness. If you feel that scratch in your throat, or you start sniffling, call it an early night, go to bed, and wake up earlier the next day.

Consider it your body’s alarm clock to go to bed. So, if you’re feel just a touch on the weather, if your head hurts a little too much, don’t keep reading for section, go to bed. Early.

You won’t look like a dork if you’re staying in on a Friday night to sleep.

3) Go to bed. Seriously.

This is advice when you are already sick. I was utterly exhausted and perpetually tired these past two weeks. I felt like bleh, as soon as it turned midnight.

My roommate, smart cookie, would send me off to bed.

Although, I would get up early, just having that nice wonderful respite, that lovely mental break, gives you much more clarity of mind and strength in body than you could ever hope for if you just continued working and drank caffeine.

4) Dining Halls: Minimize Contagion

When I’m getting food, and I’m sick, I try really really really hard to not infect everyone with whatever it is I have.

Disinfect your hands with that lovely sanitizer they provide. And, keep disinfecting whenever you need to use the serving utensils again.

5) Comfort foods

Now that we’re on the topic of food, I recommend hot tea when you’re sick. Or sparkly water, otherwise known as soda water. Drink your vitamin C-charged orange juice. Eat your grapefruit.

Get your roommate  to get you a thing of gummy bear vitamins. It’s silly, but I swear, this is the only way I eat vitamins.

Watch out for dairy (including chocolate), since it has a habit of sort of worsening phlegm.

Pasta is also deliciously simple and uncomplicated. Ditto with humus and pita bread.

But, most importantly,  carry around your (frequently-washed) Nalgene full of water. Even to class.

6) Let others know you’re sick

People are reasonable. If you’re sick, it’s more than okay to say “no” and very okay to say “maybe later.” As in, pass on some of the responsibility to other people.

It’s always much better to let others know they need to re-delegate responsibility. No one wants to potentially prolong someone’s illness.

7) Keep warm, no matter how weird you look

I did indeed wear a fuzzy scarf during Indian Summer. It’s okay. Consider it a signal to others to forgive you if you sound particularly incoherent.

8) Go to UHS, I swear they’re not as bad as people make them out to be

Except, give them a call beforehand. Ask for an appointment. Instead of waiting hours? as a walk-in, you wait 15 minutes tops if you have an appointment.

And you don’t have to have an appointment with your assigned doctor, your nurse practitioners assigned to your “team”  is fine. Just remember that UHS is supposed to help you. So don’t feel guilty making the nice receptionist go through a few more calendars than not. (Obviously, be nice to them.)

9) Druuugs

Ask your doctor. I am in no way capable of dispensing medical advice. But just know that there are many drugs out there that can clear up congestion, banish running noses, make you cough less, and give you a good night’s sleep.

Carrying around a thing of cough drops (splurge on the honey Ricola) is also advisable.

10) Don’t feel guilty

Perhaps this should be point number 1. It’s okay to be sick, under the weather, sort of slacking, a little bit behind, absolutely incoherent in section, and look like shit when you’re sick.

It’s college, so we all lack our lovely “sick days” and our wonderful parents who would baby us.

Related Posts

0 Responses to “Keeping Healthy at Harvard”

  1. No Comments

Leave a Reply