Being Sick in College


Friends knocking.


Stomach churning.


Mom missing.


Just another day in the life of a bedridden collegiate scholar.


I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like to get sick while at college. Sure, we’ve all had a little too much fun on a Friday night and come to regret it the next morning with a few hurls into the residence hall toilets. But I found out this past week that nothing compares to that unexpected wakeup call by your abdomen on a Thursday as you question “why me?” Then it comes again a half hour later. And again and again, until you’re dry heaving over your trash can and sweating like the dude in the Bananas suit while your roommate asks you if you need any water.


There are many realizations that I came to during my Thursday through Sunday bout with the stomach bug. They all led to the same conclusion: that being sick in college is a lot harder and frankly a lot worse than being sick at home.


  1. I realized how gross I am. At home I am expected to maintain a certain level of cleanliness. At school, however, I don’t wash my utensils and plates and I let my trash overflow and I throw my clothes on the floor. I DON’T KNOW WHY. I just do, and frankly it never bothered me. My roommate and I differ as dramatically as Felix and Oscar in The Odd Couple, and at this point we’ve just accepted the fact that I was born this way. But once I got sick, it all started to change. Smells that had never before graced my nostrils were now making me gag. The sight of the dirt on our carpet had me queasy. The dirty plates and food crumbs scattered across my desk were nauseating. I’d like to say this caused my freshman boy syndrome to permanently abate, but to be honest as soon as I regained my strength I was right back to laughing at the disgusting humor we first floor Cumberland lads consume ourselves with, and throwing my pizza boxes on the ground.


  1. As gross as I may be, I will never accept kneeling in a pool of urine to throw up into a residence hall toilet. Bending over the toilet, my neck stiffening and my back throbbing.…that’s when I was really missing home. Because at my own house I can make a nice little spot for myself in front of the toilet. It’s 2 AM, I run there and let it fly and then I take a nice little nap on the bathroom carpet til 3:30 and then huck again. Meanwhile Mom already has my sheets in the wash and is crafting a nice breakfast of Saltines and Gatorade for “when I’m ready to try and keep something down” (while Dad on the other hand comes home that night asking how school was. I DIDN’T GO DAD. I WAS SICK).


  1. Friends banging on the door are a part of everyday college life. We all love our friends, but it’s also sometimes annoying to be woken from a nap, distracted from homework, or taken away from any other activities young men engage in (damn it there’s that Cumby sense of humor). When I’m sick I just want to watch Office episode after Office episode while I sip my ginger ale. I don’t want to talk to anybody, I don’t want to look at anybody, and I sure as hell don’t want to engage with anybody. My roommate made it very known to people that I was under the weather, and yet both Friday and Saturday night there were several bouts of banging on our door as friends shouted “YO Griff! Let’s go dawg! Friday night I know you’re in there!!” In retrospect, I appreciate the desire for my company but at the time I wasn’t about to drag myself off my bed and abandon Jim Halpert to be met with beer breath and a “WHASSUP.”


  1. It’s very claustrophobic in college. It’s a small room and when I’m sick I start to feel a bit caged. At home I can roam from room to room and feel like I’m stretching out, which helps me feel better. There also are dogs to pet at home – always a therapeutic plus.


The moral of the story, I suppose, is that although college has infinite perks, when it comes to illness, there’s no place like home.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About "Fill The Steins": A multimedia platform devoted to providing an informative, entertaining forum that celebrates "the college of our hearts always" and its graduates' contributions to academics, athletics, and popular culture, as created by alumni and students, for alumni and students. FTS is not affiliated with the University of Maine or UMaine System and does not represent the views or opinions of the university in any way, shape, or form.
Copyright © Fill The Steins

This blog has been archived

This blog has been archived and is no longer being updated.