I’ll never forget the end of my first spring semester. I had promised to my fraternity to dance in Dance Marathon for 26.2 hours to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network; a week prior, I stayed up all night with my student government group for Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. During that week in between, I worried about passing my final evaluation while training at work and my upcoming fraternity formal.

Then I remembered why I was actually in college – to study – and the impending doom of finals was just too much. The sickness that followed – my diminished sleep schedule and the bug that was floating around finally hit me. So what’s a freshman to do with school, involvement and work all lining up when the sick bug bites?

First, get healthy. I know it seems obvious, but more often than not students will fight to continue their daily lives in spite of their sickness. Class, work, and involvement can wait – not focusing on your health will just make symptoms worse.

Second, cut the B.S. What’s important, and what’s not? I realized I couldn’t miss my Dance Marathon commitment because I would be letting my fundraisers and supporters down, but my employment was very supportive – it didn’t even count against me for attendance points because I had a doctor’s note. In addition, professors were supportive and I had friends cover for me for notes. If it wasn’t an exam or quiz, I wasn’t there until I was better.

Quarantine yourself. As much as possible, keep yourself alone so you don’t infect anyone else, but mainly so you can just focus on getting yourself better. Feel free to use Facebook, Twitter, and your cell to contact people, but direct contact is probably not a good idea.

Finally, make time for studying, especially near exam season. This is the one mistake I made last spring. My exam grades weren’t as hot as I’d liked them to be, because I didn’t make any time to study when I was sick. I’d make time to relax and watch some TV, but not studying – and during exam season, that was crucial. Thankfully, since some of my professors understood that my grades were drastically lower for that final or last exam, they were compassionate, but that won’t necessarily always be the case.

Stay healthy in this exam season, but if you can’t, follow these tips to ensure your sickness isn’t your downfall!

[Photo courtesy of Leonid Mamchenkov on Flickr. Photo courtesy of CC BY-2.0.]