Sick Days

I am absolutely loving my college experience here at Erskine. Even so, some things are just not the same at college as they are at home–one of which is getting sick.

Although being ill is never pleasant, being sick at college is, as I quickly discovered, generally bereft of those comforts provided at home by my mother’s solicitous care, sympathy, and medical advice. While I may be exempt from certain tasks (such as cleaning the kitchen or going to work) when I’m sick at home, no such luxury is available during the school year…unless, of course, I’m willing to miss a class. Which of course, I would never want to do, lest I miss key information that would leave my liberal arts education sorely lacking or *cough, might show up on a test.*

Consequently, even the common cold becomes a challenging burden when it descends upon one during the school year. Gone are the days of being handed chicken soup by the mother who then kindly sets up a vaporizer in the bedroom and buys another box of Sudafed PM. Instead, one must go to class, take tests, and work as best one can, despite a raging headache and running nose. Of course, I suppose that being sick as a college student is simply part of growing up since…well, when adults are sick (bar some highly contagious, debilitating illness), they simply carry on business as usual.

And, to be entirely fair, though there’s no place like home for the sick soul, friends here at Erskine are amazingly caring and helpful when one is sick. Last year, for example, when I was terribly ill with some flu-like ailment, replete with a high fever, my friend Amber essentially took on the role of mother for the week. She brought me food (since I wasn’t up to traveling anywhere to eat meals), checked on me frequently, and made sure I got air every once in a while. Another friend was kind enough to share the riches of her medicine cabinet with me, and I was feeling better far more quickly than I would have otherwise, thanks to the kind care of my friends.

Getting well, I’ve found, requires something which is a very rare commodity for the college study—namely, sleep. Since the struggle to balance living healthily, thriving academically, and having a social life is one which we all experience in life, I am amused by G.K. Chesterton’s remark that “[t]he trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind.” Indeed, holistic health is no easy attainment. But if every aspect of life is interconnected (as the liberally-educated philosopher would argue), and if all of life is under the rule of a sovereign God, then what can better equip us for a life of balance than faithful adherence the principles of Scripture? Holistic health, here I come!