COLUMN: Tips for staying sane in sickness alone


Elise Keane, Columnist

Adulting is a phrase we’ve heard a lot. It’s the art of being an adult. Whether it’s paying bills or buying groceries, we are more accountable for ourselves more than ever. It can be really scary to have so much responsibility.  

We’ve all heard that part though. The part that isn’t talked about though is all the mundane stuff that you didn’t think about living at home, like being sick.  

I remember when I would get sick my dad would come home with plenty of goodies to make me feel better. The fridge or pantry always had something that I could make or could grab and go. That isn’t necessarily the case when you’re living on your own. 

Being sick is the hardest alone. Last semester I had a basic cold. Just a stuffy nose, a headache and I felt terrible. All I wanted was some ginger ale and Jell-O. Those were the staples of the Keane family cold arsenal. I didn’t have those things in my dorm room. I was just wishing that my dad would magically appear with all the things I wanted. Eventually, I realized if I wanted anything I had to go and get it myself. So, I picked up my sickly self and headed to Walmart.  

It was then that I realized I was looking at the rest of my life. Maybe one day I’ll have a parent who will do those things for me but as of now, I am on my own. With all the other mounting pressures of being an adult, I hadn’t thought about the stuff my parents wouldn’t be around for to help me out with.  

Well, at least I started the process of learning how to do all of this on my own. Starting out can be hard though so here is my starter guide for how to keep yourself sane if you happen to get sick.  

I started keeping a small stockpile of shelf-stable foods that make me feel better when I’m sick. Mine usually consists of Italian wedding soup, saltines, and chicken bouillon. I also always use my grandpa’s old trick of taking Alka-Seltzer. I don’t know why it works so well but it always does the trick.  

If you don’t have a first aid kit, I recommend going to the dollar store and making your own. It’s a little cheaper than buying one online and can be more personalized. A decent starter first aid kit has bandages, ibuprofen (or Advil), acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol), and a thermometer. I would also recommend looking at the American Red Cross website for their comprehensive first aid kit guide. 

I hope these tips make your life a little easier if you happen to catch a cold this semester. You will not want to go venture out while sick so preparation ahead of time is really key. 

Elise Keane is a sophomore neuroscience major. They can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].