Sickness and Finals: a Recipe for Disaster


The black cat is my spirit animal, and trust me, it is not by choice. As much as I would love to think that the animal I best represent is a dog or cheetah or porcupine, there are times where my bad luck strikes me so hard that I stumble around the rest of the day in a haze of stars. I’m not always a walking disaster, but once things start going downhill for me, a fissure opens up right before I hit the ground and I find myself somehow falling deeper.

This week was one of those weeks where my bad luck decided to rear it’s ugly head. I was feeling good, basking in the eye of the storm right before Final’s Week, finally feeling like I was getting somewhere in the mess that is my school projects, when my body decided to turn on me and get sick. Of course, the day it happened to do so was the day I had to give a 15-minute presentation in my Spanish class. It couldn’t wait until a day later.

The sickness itself isn’t life-threatening—there are usually two weeks a year where I feel pretty cruddy because of the season change—but it definitely isn’t fun. Runny nose, coughing, mucus running both up and down my throat: it isn’t exactly the way I want to spend my final week of school.

Though really, upon reflection there isn’t much of a difference between surviving Finals Week and powering through sickness.

1. If the sun is up, I’m most likely sleeping.

Sometimes sleep is the best medicine, so it’s no surprise that my butt rarely moves from my warm bed. Under the weather = stay under the covers. Finals Week also shows an increase in sleeping; just ask the kid snoozing under the table in the library or the girl surrounded by eight empty cans of energy drinks.

2. If the sun is down, I’m most likely awake.

I’ll admit, I don’t stay up late working on assignments like most of my peers (sleep is precious to me, okay?), but the stress of finals alone is enough to keep me from drifting off to snoozeland. When I’m sick, it takes me a couple hours to get comfortable enough to get to sleep, and when I finally do I end up waking every few hours for various reasons which ya’ll probably don’t need to hear about.

3. Netflix becomes my best, and only, friend.

When I’m sick, there is a very tiny handful of people that I want to see me. I like to barricade myself in my room, because if I go out into public sick I guarantee that I’ll burst into tears the moment someone starts talking to me, even if it’s something as simple as “would you like fries with that”? Except for my very close family, Netflix is the only thing I need to distract me from my troubles. As for Finals Week, Netflix is technically my second best friend. The first would have to be a lovely little thing called “procrastination”. I mean, I’m going to fail my classes anyway, so I might as well get some pleasure from my week.


4. I calculate how much medicine I can take without overdosing.

For sickness, it’s the typical cold medicine. For finals, it’s comfort food. Thankfully, both Death and Finals week fell just after Easter this year, so I have enough chocolate to get me through my sorrows.

5. I complain. A lot.

In the case of finals, it’s to help me vent stress and prevent me from going to jail because something unfortunate happened to one of my professors or group project members. When I’m sick I complain because I need to make sure that my symptoms aren’t signs that I’m dying. I need a second opinion, because looking up illness on Google is just plain terrifying.

I’m cold? It says here that I could potentially have a broken back. Well, at least I’ll be gone before my Critical Theory essay is due next week.

6. Once it’s all said and done, I better appreciate just how wonderful life is.

I can breath again! Eating cereal no longer feels like swallowing a handful of Legos! I can finally arrange that textbook-burning bonfire! The right side of my hand may be permanently stained black from pencil lead, but at least I don’t have to worry about hand cramps for another few months! I can go outside again and re-introduce myself to the sun!

To go celebrate, I think I’ll go see what’s new on Netflix.


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