The Freshman Files: Common Cold

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Walking into my doctor’s office in August for my yearly physical I was in perfect health and ready to be shipped off to Manhattan College. So when my physician handed me a pack of Kleenex and warned me about college breeding as many germs as a kindergarten classroom, I shrugged it off.

Except now I find it almost impossible to walk around campus or sit in class without hearing a sniffle, a cough or the rustling of a throat lozenge being torn open.

We are all used to being sick. But being sick in college is a whole other story.

First off, we live with another, sometimes two other, human beings. At first they will be completely understanding towards your situation.

“I would definitely warm up soup, maybe get her some chocolate and medicine,” freshman Katie Tucker said of what she would do if a roommate fell sick.

But soon enough your roommate will lose any and all energy to help you, fearing that they will get sick themselves, which they obviously will. The next thing you know they will be wearing gloves and spraying disinfectant every time they walk into the room.

“I don’t deal with sickness. My advice is to sleep at a friends until the room is cleaned and relatively germ free,” freshman Kevin Young said.

Eventually, your symptoms will be so bad that no one will want to ride the elevator with you.

“I am totally convinced that when I had a cold a couple of weeks ago that people purposefully avoided getting into the elevator with me or sitting next to me on the subway,” freshman John Fisher said.

So what do you do when you are in bed, buried underneath a pile of tissues and deprived of our mom’s chicken noodle soup?

Some of us cuddle up with our laptops and binge-watch our favorite show.

“Whenever I am not feeling well I watch Netflix, especially ‘Blue Mountain State’ – it’s like alternative medicine,” Fisher said.

“‘House’ is definitely the show to watch. It’s about doctors and medicine, what else is more fitting for the situation?” Young said.

While the more obvious and beneficial solution would be to see a doctor, some of us are scared or intimidated to get help from areas on campus.

“A few weeks ago I had a cold. Insistent on not going to the nurse, I tried to self-diagnose myself. After scrolling through four pages of WebMD and calling my mom in a panic of my recent diagnosis of Cytomegalovirus, I realized that next time I’ll just go to health services,” freshman Molly Flores said.

Whatever you come down with this season, whether it’s strep throat or an ear infection, try your best to get over it fast. Remember, these are the best four years of our lives, but they are also the most exhausting. Overload on Emergence-C, drink lots of tea and get some extra sleep.