sorry-dogI’m back, dear readers! I’m so sorry that I left you in the dark for over a month. Shortly after my last post, I returned to LMU for my senior year, and already things have gotten off to a pretty crazy start. I actually was here for a full week before the start of classes to participate in scenario training for Residence Life. While learning how to provide conflict management and perform emergency maneuvers was a ton of fun, it was also incredibly exhausting. By the end of the week I was most certainly ready to take on all the challenges of being a resident assistant, but I also didn’t have the energy to blog about it. I decided to take a break from blogging that week but vowed that I would definitely have a cool post ready for my next scheduled appearance.

Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned either! My next post was supposed to go out after the first week of classes, and I ended up getting sick with allergies and a head cold. I woke up one morning with a terrible sore throat, and the next thing I knew, it was congestion and fatigue and lots of Kleenex. I ended up staying in bed for two days in order to recuperate. This meant no classes, no hanging out with friends, and, unfortunately, no motivation to blog that week. I ended up taking yet another hiatus from blogging, but as soon as I started to feel better, I sat down to write this post. I realized I’ve never shared any advice on staying well in college, so I thought this week would be a great time to do just that.

rhinovirusLet’s start with some tips on how to avoid getting sick in the first place. I know that’s often easier said than done, especially during flu season and sudden outbreaks, but you can at least take the necessary precautions to decrease your chances of catching a disease. Washing or sanitizing your hands frequently and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze will definitely protect you from all of the germs you come into contact with throughout the day. Daily exercise can also strengthen your immune system, even if it’s something as simple as walking to class in the mornings or taking a leisurely stroll around campus in the evenings. If you’re prone to hay fever allergies like I am, taking a daily antihistamine can prevent your body from reacting unnecessarily to the pollen in the air for nearly 24 hours. And you can also get yourself vaccinated against the latest epidemic on the rise before it ever reaches you.

However, if you do suddenly find yourself under the weather, be sure and have a game plan to avoid falling behind in your classes. If you don’t feel sick to your stomach and you think you could sit through the hour-long lecture, go ahead and go to class. You don’t have to get all dolled up or even act like your usual self, but just being there to listen and take notes will help in the long run. But, if you know you’re just going to sit in your seat and be miserable, it’s okay to stay in bed with your Netflix account and some chicken noodle soup. Just make sure to email your professors and let them know why you were not in class. Most professors will be very understanding, and if you ask, they may even send you any notes or reminders you may have missed that day.

Even the villain "The Common Cold" has his weaknesses. Chicken noodle soup knocked him right out!

Even the villain “The Common Cold” has his weaknesses. Chicken noodle soup knocked him right out!

If what you have is highly contagious, though, such as the flu, LMU actually has special precautions that must be taken. If you’re a commuter student, you may be asked to stay home to avoid spreading it to your classmates. If you live in one of the residential halls, it may even be necessary to move you to a specially-reserved room where you will be quarantined while you recover. While being stranded there might not sound like the most fun set-up, it will limit the spread of the disease and keep things running smoothly on campus. Plus, you’ll get to be pampered by the resident assistants who will bring you food from the dining hall at every meal.

The UMC office in Harrogate

The UMC office in Harrogate

One last resource for you if you get sick is the University Medical Clinic, or UMC, operated through the Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM). The UMC has locations in Harrogate and  New Tazewell, and it’s open every weekday to students and to the public who want to drop in and get a quick diagnosis. This can be especially helpful if you’ve been taking medicine all week long while getting a lot of rest but you still can’t seem to get any relief. My sophomore year, I had similar symptoms to what I was experiencing a few weeks ago, only they didn’t go away on their own in a matter of days. After a week of non-stop coughing and nose-blowing, I finally went to the UMC, where they diagnosed me with a sinus infection. The doctor explained that my allergies had actually progressed to a bacterial infection, and he even prescribed me some good antibiotics from the Village Shops, a family-owned pharmacy just across the street from the University.

Well, I am happy to report that I am finally feeling back to normal, and I plan on sticking to my blogging schedule for the rest of the semester! While you wait for my next post, feel free to browse around the rest of my blog. I’ve been chronicling my Journey to Pharmacy School in a new series, and pretty soon I’ll have some details on the latest stop—filling out the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). So stay tuned for that, and if you’d like to receive automatic alerts about each post, click on the button at the top of the page to receive email notifications. Or, if you have any more questions about staying well or any college sickness stories you’d like to share, drop a comment below or send me an email.


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