The College Cold

8 Nov

Do you know what’s REALLY horrible?

Wait, I’m sorry, that was a negative way to begin this post. Let me start over…

Do you know what I’m “not a fan of,” but what seems “okay” when you compare it to death by shark attack or getting the middle seat on an airplane?


Do you think I’m being dramatic?

Because I am…

But you should know by now that I have that tendency. 

Seriously, though, if you are a college student and you catch a cold, you are screwed.

You are screwed for a couple of reasons.

  1. Yes, completing your plethora of homework will be more challenging. But Netflix is just as much – if not more – to blame for that, so we’ll give the common cold a break.
  2. When you go out on Friday night at 11pm, you will feel TEN times more tired at the start of the night than you would feel if you were healthy. And, you will probably fall asleep in your pizza at the end of the night… and everyone will think it’s because you are totallyyyyy wasted, dude, when really it is BECAUSE OF YOUR FAULTY IMMUNE SYSTEM. People will start calling you “Pizza Face” and it will stick until graduation. During which, you will bedazzle your graduation cap with your nickname and everyone will have a good chuckle about youth.
  3. In a world where germs can travel through cellular connections, NO ONE is safe. (Germs don’t actually work that way. I’m just testing a new idea I have for a movie…a horror movie about iPhones and the common cold. Ben Affleck is producing.) Germs really do travel quickly, though. Want to know a couple ways to guarantee infection?
    1. Go ahead, do that keg stand! Who cares if Sickly Sal and Barfy Barbara just did ten each before you! As the great poet, Drake, once said, “YOLO.”
    2. Sureeee, go find a random Solo cup at that frat party and start sippin’ on it because they seem to have run out of new ones. Nah, don’t bother to rinse it out – I’m sure it was just full of water beforehand! And don’t worry because I saw Sickly Sal and Barfy Barbara over by the keg stand and not by the cups, so I think you’re all good!
    3. YES, you SHOULD sit next to that kid with all the tissues and the nose spray during class. And you know what? If you are the one who is sick, why stay home when you can come to class bearing tissues and nose spray? There’s nothing better than sitting in desks made for infants and swapping stale, germy air. I’d liken the experience to dining out in NYC – how chic!
    4. And finally – definitely, definitely make out with those ten random kids on the dance floor. It is YOUR night! Mono? Isn’t that an Italian restaurant in the North End?

For all of these reasons – homework, Pizza Face, and ease of contraction – college colds are the WORST.

I speak from firsthand experience. This week, I contracted a cold. I woke up on Monday with that itching, sore feeling of doom in the back of my throat. I was tired and confused. I tried to study for my statistics exam for six hours and ended up watching Netflix for three of those…


The common cold had struck.

Not only did I have two exams this week, but I also had a lot of other shitake going on. I could NOT afford to get sick. I needed to heal.

So, I went to bed at 8pm every night, drank a lot of tea, and did yoga for two hours a day to sweat out my toxins.

Translation: I went to bed at 2:30am every *morning,* drank a lot of coffee to stay awake, and used the “I’m sick” excuse to avoid any and all physical activity, from taking out the trash to taking out the recycling.

And, after a couple of days, I felt SO much better!

Translation: It is now day five of this madness and I feel worse than before…I think my cough has developed a cough and I’m seeing double. That’s normal, right?

College and sickness don’t mix because college requires super-human strength and endurance, while sickness reveals normal human limits. In college, you can’t just “take a personal day” to heal and reflect. There is too much to do! Too much to see! Too much Netflix to miss!

College and sickness also don’t mix because lecture halls are not conducive to coughing fits. This was just one of the many observations I made during my time as an invalid. 

If you have a cough, it WILL erupt during an enormous lecture. You will try to suppress it for as long as you can, but that tickling feeling will continue to creep up until it BURSTS out of you like something out of the Exorcist. You will try to cough daintily for the first few seconds, but that will not work. Eventually, you will be coughing so loudly that everyone will turn to look at you, whispering, “I didn’t know the Boston Symphony Orchestra was visiting class today…” You will contemplate leaving the room, but oh wait, you’re sitting in the middle seat, of the middle row, of a statistics lecture, and there is only one exit, so everyone will watch you leave. So, instead, you will decide to open up a fresh bag of cough drops and you’ll make so much noise that someone will throw a calculator at your head. (And it will be a scientific calculator, which will hurt SO MUCH more than a regular one.)

Thanks to your coughing fit, you will now be able to add “Crazy Cougher” to your bedazzled graduation cap.

Moral of the story: DO NOT GET SICK. Get a flu shot! Take vitamins! Rest!

This weekend, I plan on resting, reflecting, and eating plenty of Vitamin C.

Translation: This weekend, I will stay up until the wee hours because I have a fear of missing out on fun; I will reflect on the night before during brunch with my friends; and, I might drink some orange juice for breakfast tomorrow.

Because college is still college, and fun is still fun… even when you’re carrying tissues and nasal spray.








8 Responses to “The College Cold”

  1. debtnthecity November 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    This was a great post! 🙂 You’re right college colds suck. And they spread around like wildfire in dorms.

    I too have a cold! And you know what sucks just as much as a college cold? A working-girl cold! I took one day off this week… and worked from home 😦 On the bright side I did sprinkle in some “New Girl” mid Excel spreadsheets.

    Colds suck. Get well soon 🙂

    • sophpearl November 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks so much!! Yes, wildfire is correct – my poor roommate has a cold now, too. Whoops!

      And yikes, I bet a working-girl cold would be equally terrible. But I LOVE New Girl and am jealous you got to watch it! That is the plus side of sickness, for sure. Feel better!

  2. fit4review November 9, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    This is one of the most accurate descriptions of both college and the cold. I love your humor!

    • sophpearl November 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Thanks so much!! I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Stay cold-free!

  3. comicsmaniac November 9, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Ahahaha this is the truest thing I’ve ever read! I’ve gone out while sick more than once, that’s for sure. The worst part is how college colds stick around for AGES, and once you get rid of them, they’ll be back with a vengeance two weeks later.

    I hope you feel better soon! Like you said, drink lots of water and take plenty of Vitamin C! 😀

    • sophpearl November 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      That is SO true. Weeks and weeks and weeks! Maybe week two will be better than week one. Or maybe I’ll have to invest in a lifetime supply of Vitamin C…

      Thanks for reading!

  4. geanieroake November 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    All right, you’re funny and crazy and I would have liked you in college, except that we missed each other by about thirty years. Fun post.

    • sophpearl November 11, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Thanks so much!! And I’m sure not much has changed – college will always be college 🙂

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