February 7th, 2008 Jamie
Nothing puts a strain on your relationship with your roommate like a continuous hacking cough disrupting precious hours of sleep time. Here’s what you should do if your roommate gets sick.
What to Do for Your Roommate
Chances are your first response to a sick roommate is more focused on you than on him or her. Let’s face it—its human nature to want to make sure you don’t get sick. I’ll get to that in a minute. Now, if you want to keep having a good year with your roommate (and have an easier time when you get sick later on) try to show a little consideration:
- Ask if You Can Help. You don’t have to do their laundry or anything, but it can really help if you offer to do something little like pick up some Tylenol, drop off a homework assignment, or snag an extra sandwich when you hit the dining hall. Remember, you get what you give.
- Let Your Roomie Rest. Trust me on this—if your roommate doesn’t get all the rest he/she needs, that horrible nose-blowing at 3 a.m. is going to last a lot longer. If your sick roomie is trying to sleep, keep your headphones on, turn the TV off, and meet your friends somewhere else.
What to Do for You (or How to Keep the Sick Away)
- Make Your Requests. Okay, so you’ve been the ideal roommate—bringing sandwiches, keeping the noise down, even buying some more tissues with your own money—now you get to ask your roommate for something in return. Whatever it is that’s driving you nuts—the cough, the lack of hand-over-mouth when sneezing—now you can ask your roommate (CASUALY and KINDLY) to do something about it. Cough drops can work wonders!
- Keep an Eye on Your Hands. Your hands are probably one of the best places to pick up germs. Keep them away from your face—eyes, mouth, and nose especially—to lower your chance of letting those germs in. It’s also really important to wash your hands, with soap, often, and especially before you eat or after you touch anything you share (computer, TV remote, etc).
- Strengthen Your Immune System. There are a lot of ways to keep your immune system strong, like getting lots of rest (no all-nighters right now!) and eating healthy foods (try to cut back on junk food). A lot of people also feel that vitamin C (found in citrus fruits like oranges, or in the vitamin section at the store) can make a big difference. Also, be sure you stay hydrated (and remember that alcohol dehydrates you).
Okay… good luck!