This winter I called my dad bragging that my normally weak immune system had beaten off whatever seasonal sickness was going around. I was convinced that I had miraculously improved my ability to fight off colds and the flu without changing anything about my lifestyle. Almost a week later I was in the Coffee Closet, doing homework with my friend Mark, when my head started feeling really groggy. So naturally, I bought three different teas and poured in significant amounts of honey and lemon to try to stop my impending sickness. The next day, I woke up with a fever, feeling like I had been smacked in the face. One of my friends took me to Student Health Services on campus. The nurses there told me I had the flu and prescribed me some medicine.
One of the rules with having the flu on campus is that you have to quarantine yourself until your fever subsides, meaning no trips to the places I go every day, like the Coffee Closet, Harris Dining Hall or the smaller dining halls, or the library. When I was little, my parents used to take amazing care of me. They would buy me Gatorade, make me soup with crackers, get me tea with honey or popsicles to cure a sore throat. Being sick while living far from your family is tough. However, in the small and tight-knit community that is Conn it’s easy to get help. My friends have been amazing caretakers whenever I get sick. They’ve brought me medicine, my favorite food — Panera Bread’s chicken noodle soup — and kept me company.
As with any new experience you learn how to best operate in your space over time from tips from your friends and the community. Like learning where buildings are, which buildings are for what, and what stuff to bring to school. I’m going to save you some time by giving you a few tips for surviving being sick away from home: