Being sick happens. Every now and then, all that beer pong and late nights are going to catch up to you. Depending on the season, the heat or the cold will set upon you and give you a fever, the chills, or, somehow, both. If you’re sick now, you have my sympathies. If not, in advance, here’s some advice on how to handle your sickness in a college setting for the minimum amount of damage.

 

1: Avoid Theatrics

If you’re sick- really sick- one of the few pleasures you get is to complain about it. No one is going to know how bad it is, how it’s real, or how brave you are for not throwing up right now unless you tell them, after all. And while you aren’t a whiner, you want to express that this sucks. It’s only natural, after all.

The catch? Don’t. If you try to convince other people that you’re really sick you’ll convince yourself you’re really sick. All that woe is me stuff will remind you that woe really is you and you’ll be more miserable for it. Try to convince others your fine and you’ll feel better: fish for “feel betters” and you’ll feel worse. It’s annoying, but it’s true. Similarly…

 

2: Don’t Kid Yourself

No, you shouldn’t go to class today. Yeah, you should probably sleep in. And maybe you’re the over-active hustler, but hustling through your sickness will make you more miserable, risk getting other people sick, and, to top it all off, it won’t be effective. Try to remember the last time you got anything productive done while you had a fever. You haven’t. Don’t try to be a hero and make yourself worse.

 

3: Liquids

A rule of thumb that applies to all sickness, including hangovers: your body needs liquid. Hydration is key to feeling better, and dehydration makes everything worse. Even if you don’t want to drink, be creative. If you can’t handle water, consider Gateraid. If you can’t drink fast, sip slowly. Solids may be a hit-or-miss proposition but liquids are golden.

 

4: Set your Background

Don’t waste anything you really want on being sick. You don’t have the capacity to really enjoy that episode of Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. While you should be setting up a comfortable pillow-fort of gentle distraction. Being sick limits your concentration and understanding that, set up a bunch of easy distractions. Browse Twitter and Facebook, leave Family Guy on, whatever.  Finally, it’s okay to kill time. Might as well do it.

 

5: Call Home

Your parents are always going to want to pamper you when you’re sick. It’s part of the paperwork you all signed. And unlike your room-mates and friends, they’ll be sure to coo over you and promise help and send their love and not mind the fact that you smell and are cranky and have half-eaten pizza all over your room. On second thought, maybe clean that up. That might be how you got sick in the first place.