Having a sick time at cherubs

Tools for fighting fevers. Photo by Kaitlyn Tom

“I can’t be this out of shape,” I thought when I reached the third floor of Fisk. I felt like I had just scaled Mt. Everest. My body was weak, I was seeing stars, and I just wanted to sleep. I chalked it up to sleep deprivation and thought nothing of it, continuing to class.

A few hours later, I was feeling even worse, and once I felt my forehead I knew why. I had a fever.

I was so upset. It was only the second week in, and my friends and I were beginning to have more meaningful talks, even getting in a big circle and sharing our most intimate secrets. I was afraid sleeping all day would ruin my friendships because I would lose the precious time to bond with girls on my floor.

It turned out that, if anything, getting sick at cherubs strengthened my friendships.

I didn’t think that people I had known for a week would care so much about me. Even though I never told them I had a fever, they knew I didn’t feel well.

My friends asked me if I wanted anything to eat, went to Hinman and brought back food so that I could stay in the dorm and rest. They checked up on me regularly and made sure that I woke up in time for class.

I became particularly close to Sabrina Martin of Bethesda, Maryland, because she and I were sick at the same time. As she chugged Pepto-Bismol, I sat eating chicken soup. I made fun of her for drinking the bright pink medicine as if it were water. She joked about my cooling forehead strip with the Mickey Mouse print. Our jokes and her laughter made me feel infinitely better.

At the end of the day, the essential oils, comfortable pillow and chicken soup made me feel more at home. But I learned that things from home can only help so much. What really makes you feel best are the people who will become your closest friends.