The Four Levels of Collegiate Sickness

Close living quarters. Tens of thousands of your closest friends. The extremely questionable hygiene habits of many geeds and campus food workers. Yes, the American college experience can be a fairly unhealthy place and unless you’re a psycho germaphobe who lubricates his self love sessions with Purell, you’re going to get sick at some point. The most common levels of collegiate illness can be simplified into four categories.

Level 1- Minor Sickness

Examples: Persistent Cough, Sinus Infection, Minor Hangover, Cold Sores

Notice that there is no designated level for “healthy.” If you’re treating your college experience right, you should never be completely healthy. If you wake up each morning feeling like a million bucks, ready to take on whatever the world throws at you, chances are you didn’t drink enough last night, and you’re a twat.

Between the rampant alcoholism, close quarter living with your brothers, persistent lack of sleep, and casual prescription drug abuse, there is no way your body can ever truly be 100% until a few weeks of break detox.

If one person is coughing frequently in the frat castle, you damn well better believe everyone else will soon be following suit. Living in a fraternity house is basically like being constantly vaccinated so from time to time you’ll pick up new and persistent bacteria. Fret not, by senior year that cough will be more like a “victorious throat clearing.” Don’t let it bother you, because it’s still better than…

Level 2- Too Sick for Class

Examples: Bronchitis, Larger Hangover, Sprained Ankle, Minor Flu, Gonorrhea

It takes a very special form of sickness to hear that alarm in the wee hours of morning and think to yourself “You know what, fuck that.”

Actually, wait, no it doesn’t, your health level just needs to be advanced a smidge beyond Level 1 for you to actually notice. This peculiar type of ailment has the odd tendency of only lasting the length of your classes, and by nightfall you are miraculously healthy(ish) again.

Rest is important when trying to get healthy, and you only get healthy after resting your mind through those would-be miserable hours of class. Everyone knows that sitting in a fluorescent-lit room, seamlessly switching between thinking and skimming the TFM wall, is one of the worst things for any illness.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t bother feeling guilty. It isn’t your fault that you make a full recovery by happy hour, as if Jesus himself walked in the room, laid his hands on you, and said “My child, suffer not and instead rage.” The best thing you can do is answer this heavenly call, and hopefully you’ll be fine by the next day.

Level 3- Too Sick to Party

Examples: Crippling Hangover, Migraine Headache, Two Broken Legs, Mono, Herpes

I can already see the “there’s no such thing as too sick to party!” comments forming. Well shut up and stop trying so damn hard, because chances are once or twice in your career you will find yourself too incapacitated to attempt to further incapacitate yourself.

Resisting the urge to party can be an awfully difficult thing, but when under the painful shroud of a migraine headache, or stuck in a perpetual head-in-toilet mode, the prospects of enjoying a bar crawl become slim.

One of the best things you can do at this point is call up your favorite sorority woman (don’t call her a sorostitute in this case, trust me), and have her serve as your temporary nurse, making you soup and tending to your illness.

If sick enough, requesting a sorority caregiver doesn’t make you a pussy. But if you’re calling up babes every time you give a Zoolander “I’ve got the black lung, Pop” cough, then you might be a needy little bitch. Just thought I should be the one to tell you.

Level 4- Hospitalization

Examples: Alcohol Poisoning, Major Concussion, Hit by Car, FULL BLOWN AIDS

Many before you have graced the whitewashed, emotionless walls of the local hospital, and I’m here to tell you that many more will. If you’ve managed to avoid the dreaded hospital trip in your collegiate endeavors, consider yourself very lucky. With all the shameless, unapologetic binge drinking you subject yourself to on a weekly basis, it’s nothing short of a miracle that the shrieking horn of an ambulance hasn’t had your cold, clammy, mistake-prone body in tow.

Hospital-level drunk isn’t ever something we strive for, it’s just an inevitable risk in the lives of every borderline alcoholic that slaps Greek letters on their chest. While climbing up that fire escape might sound like an awesome idea to your rambunctious drunken alter ego, chances are sober you is trapped somewhere deep inside your mind, crying.

Whatever level of sickness is most common for you (1 or 2 hopefully), know that with a large bottle of Ibuprofen and (properly used, this time) prescription drugs, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. I would never support a dangerous thing like drinking on antibiotics, but you know, you do get way more drunk, and significantly faster, so that’s something to consider. Just avoid Level 4 and you’re good.

Written by Malcolm Henry

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