6 Tips for When You Get Sick in College

Ah, college. A place that can be full of germs and people to spread those germs. It can be hard to not get sick in college, especially if you live in a dorm. College dorms are the perfect breading ground for germs. You are surrounded by people on all sides, and you have to interact and share so much with those people. Who knows what they do to keep germs at bay, it may be nothing.

If you have not read the part one to this post, click here.

Killer Harmony | What to Do When You Get Sick in College | Here are six tips for what you should do should you get sick in college. Rest, drink water, and see a doctor are just three important things.

That’s why it’s your job to try and stay healthy as best as you can, but that may not always be possible. Here’s what you should do when you get sick in college.

1. Rest as much as you can.

Resting is one of the two best things you can do for your body when you are sick. (See 2 for the second thing) In college, you probably have a lot of things to do. I understand. Come August, I will be extremely busy with classes, four (yes four) different musical ensembles, preparing for two solo recitals, and working to grow this blog.

We all have busy schedules, but when you aren’t feeling your best, anything you do will not be done well. Rest up so that you can get back to your busy life sooner rather than later.

2. Drink all the (clear) liquids.

You should already be drinking enough water, but it’s so important when you are sick. If you want to have something besides water, stick to clear liquids and drink something like Sprite or 7-Up. You can get really dehydrated when you are sick, so drink up like your life depends on it, because it kinda does.

Assuming that you followed my first tip and are resting, it should be easy to always have water with you. Put a cup or bottle next to your bed. Fill a water bottle if you absolutely have to go somewhere.

3. Stay Home From Classes.

Yes, I am giving you permission to skip class, but just this once. The last thing you want to do when you’re sick is have to sit through a lecture that already makes your head spin. You also don’t want to get your classmates sick. Just be sure to send your professors a quick email. You don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) tell them about how you puked in the dorm bathroom at 2 am. All they need to know is that you are feeling sick and that you have decided to stay home and rest.

4. Go to the Doctor.

Your campus should have a student health center for those of you who are not in your hometown. Either make an appointment ASAP or go in during walk in hours. The earlier you go to the doctor, the earlier you can get any necessary antibiotics. I especially recommend this to people who have a less-than-stellar immune system. You need to get better.

If you do go during walk in hours, get there as close to when they start as you can. The sooner you get there, the less you will have to wait. When I got sick this past year, I got the the health center about five minutes after walk in started. When I was finished about forty five minutes later, the wait was almost an hour.

5. Go Home, if possible.

If you go to school close to where you live, don’t hesitate to go home. Don’t drive yourself, though, get a parent or friend to drive you. Being home will give you a few benefits. First, you are at home, where your parents can take care of you and get you food and water (see 2 above). You can also take your college bed sheets and stuff home to wash so that you won’t continue to spread those germs.

I know that I also get much better sleep at home than at school, so if you are like that, go home. Getting good quality sleep is super important.

6. Ask Your Roommate or Friend for Help.

If you do not end up going home when you are sick, ask your roommate or a friend to go get you some medicine or other things you may need. If they are a good friend, they will help out. Just be prepared to help them out if they get sick.

If you want my list of things to have on hand in case you get sick, subscribe to my newsletter, because I will be sending that out hopefully sometime next week!

Bonus Tip

This is not really a tip for when you are sick, but to prepare yourself for the possibility of getting sick. Make sure you stock up on (affiliate link) common over the counter medications. You never know when you might need some ibuprofen or a decongestant. Being prepared will mean that you can get more rest and spend less time worrying about what you need to get better. You will already have it!


Have you been sick in college before? How did you get through it? Do you have any other tips for how to survive being sick in college?

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HannahHaefele

Thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “6 Tips for When You Get Sick in College”

  1. Thanks for sharing because getting sick in college is a reality. I liked your bonus tip the best; I always try to be prepared in case I get sick. I take it one step further and make sure that I always have some kind of quick and easy food on hand, because no one wants to trudge down to the dining hall (and no one wants you there if you’re germy Seriously, stay home!) Or stand over a hot stove when they’re sick.
    Kym, hellokymberlyann.com

    1. Yes! Having food on hand is a good idea, especially because while the dorm might have vending machines, those always cost more than simply buying food from the store.

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