Dec 052011
Authors: Emily Kribs and Libby Williams

Emily Kribs (Fresh):

As any medical professional or germaphobe is liable to inform you, we are encroaching on cold (and flu) season. And that’s cool. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Wrong. But you’ll get over it.

Still, that doesn’t make the time spent being sick any fun. And going to class is rarely something you can describe as “fun” in the first place, never mind when it’s all you can do to avoid laying down on any stable surface and taking a nap.

In high school, you didn’t have to. If I’m correct in estimating that a college semester is equivalent to a high school year — I’m basing this on my foreign language classes — I think it’s safe to say a lot more busywork and BS is accomplished during the high school year. Therefore, I can conclude that missing a few days of high school is no big deal.

Sure, you don’t want to be a baby about it. Going to class with the sniffles isn’t going to kill you. But if you’re physically incapable of paying attention, stay home and get some rest. It’s no big deal.

College, I have surmised, is different. While it’s an accepted fact that college classes are much more ditch-able in terms of consequences, the penalties have the ability to be greater — especially freshman year. I’ve got three classes with participation grades and another two with random iClicker quizzes to encourage people to come to class every day. My teachers have sent out emails announcing our papers will be returned in class that day, but leave it ‘til the last minute to force us to stay for the whole class.

As I’ve mentioned, a lot more gets covered in a shorter amount of time in college classes, too. High school was saturated with busywork that was unbearable, regardless of your health. But even as someone with an obvious cold looming on the horizon, one that’s manifesting even as I type, I doubt I’ll be ditching any classes this week; with finals this close, now is hardly the time for slacking off.

Of course, one wonders how effective reviewing might be while sick. It’s much easier to retain information when every other thought isn’t: “Man do I ever want to crawl into bed, kill the lights and sleep for the next two days.” And for that matter, it’d be a hell of a lot easier to write a column, too.

Libby Williams (Seasoned):

If you are sick, by all means, stay home. You might miss essential information by skipping a day of class, and that’s a valid argument. But, you also have a chance of spreading your sickness to each and every person you come in contact with on campus.

The fact of the matter is, if you are struggling through class with some kind of contagious virus, you are being a little bit selfish. You need to treat yourself right first, and keep everyone else in mind. Sometimes if you push too hard, it could take weeks to get rid of the bug. And you don’t want to be sick for the holidays now, do you?

It’s not like we don’t have the technology to get caught up in class. Pretty much every teacher uses RamCT, and if they don’t, you probably have access to an eBook. Oh yeah, and that syllabus they handed out at the beginning of the year, that will show you exactly what you’ll be missing.

Let’s not forget to mention that you probably don’t want to go to class by this time of year anyhow. Teachers are concluding their lectures to prepare for finals. Chances are that you’ll probably only be missing a review session if you stay home. I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve had enough, and I’d take advantage of any little reason not to go to class.

I’ll put things into perspective: sophomore year –– strep throat. Probably the most miserable I’ve ever felt. I was living in suite-style dorms, and my crazy roommate had just had a break up with her boyfriend. She couldn’t have cared less if I was about to die.

I just wanted my mommy. Luckily my other, not-so-crazy roommate took me to the doctor’s office the day I realized I couldn’t move my body.

And guess what the doctor told me?

He said, “Don’t go to class. Just take it easy for a while.” And then he prescribed me some antibiotics.

I stayed in bed all day, didn’t even crack the books, and I went to class three days later when I felt better. I shot emails to each of my teachers telling them I’d be missing class until I felt better and was no longer contagious.

I didn’t even have a doctor’s note, and there were no repercussions. Even missing those three days, I ended the semester with a 4.0.

I think that taking care of yourself is a win-win. Once you get medicated –– whether it is antibiotics or just a few doses of NyQuil –– and start to feel better, you can catch up on your work, you’ve avoided infecting the rest of the campus community and you haven’t jeopardized your chance to do well.

So, don’t be selfish. Stay in bed and feel better. By that time, you’ll have a clear mind and be ready to annihilate some final exams.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm

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