Have some rice and an old sock? Of course you do.Injuries happen in college.  Maybe you were exercising during finals, or even involved in a fender-bender. Hell, sometimes you may wake up with one you don’t even remember getting. Unfortunately, the typical dorm room doesn’t have the fully-stocked triage kit that mom was so good at maintaining.  I recently banged up my leg a bit, and I guess my girlfriend got a little sick of my whining and melodramatic limping, so she whipped up this brilliant little hotpack for me.

You’ll need a small bag of dry rice, which should be easy to find at just about any campus convenience store, and a sock… that’s it.  Use an old elastic tube sock if you have one, but if shorter socks are all you keep, find a rubber band.  All you need to do is empty the rice into the sock until the bulge feels about the right size, tie off the end (either with the rubber band, or a simple knot), and pop it in your microwave for two minutes or so.  

Your room will smell like rice pudding for a little while, but the hot pack can hold its temperature for a surprisingly long time, and can be used again and again.  Just apply it to your injury for about twenty minutes at a time, and be sure to wrap it in a paper towel or something to protect your skin.