Cold and flu season typically peaks sometime between December and February, so you might consider yourself out of the woods this year. However, “cold and flu season” is a misnomer; in reality, viruses and bacterial infections persist throughout the year, rearing their ugly heads at inopportune times.
And what’s a more horrible time for an online student to be sick than the end of the year? You have major assignments due, exams right around the corner, and a semester’s worth of material to remember. Add in the crummy feeling of a congested head or achy muscles, and it can all feel a little insurmountable.
If you’re starting to feel that tell-tale scratch at the back of your throat, don’t worry too much. Below, find four straightforward strategies for online studying while sick.
Take the Time You Need to Feel Better
Let’s start with the basics. Perhaps it goes without saying, but if you feel unwell, take some time off. Most students at brick-and-mortar schools take days off from school as a precautionary measure to prevent infecting classmates. Online students aren’t in this predicament, but they should still consider some personal time to recuperate.
You aren’t entirely yourself when you are sick. Your head gets foggy, your energy wanes easily, and basic tasks become a difficult chore. Moreover, if you push yourself when you’re sick, you may ultimately prolong your symptoms.
It’s better to care for your basic needs. Stay hydrated, eat nutritious meals and get plenty of horizontal rest.
Tweak Your Long-Term Schedule to Account for Days Off
But what about the rest of your studies, you might wonder? How can you make up for that lost time? Again, don’t worry – it’s easy enough to incorporate a few days away from school.
One of the benefits of a great online school like Ontario eSecondary School is that it’s flexible and self-paced. If you miss a few days, simply account for that time elsewhere in your schedule. Break out your long-term agenda to see if you can add an extra hour here and there to your studies. Or simply push your end date back by a few days to make up for the disruption.
If you don’t yet have a long-term schedule, now’s a good time to craft one. Plot the rest of your online school year along a calendar, factoring in the time it will take to complete any outstanding assignments, exam studies, group work, etc.
As You Re-Enter the World, Prioritize Comfort and Communication
Colds and flu viruses tend to crest in intensity before slowly dying down. In those final days of an illness – when you still feel crummy, but not too bad to function –prioritize your comfort. Most resources will tell you to establish a dedicated study space for your online school, but those rules don’t apply here. If you need to drag your laptop into bed with you as you study under the covers, go for it! And continue to stay hydrated with water, electrolyte drinks and/or herbal tea at your bedside.
While you wait to feel 100%, now is also your chance to communicate with instructors. If you haven’t yet told them you’re sick, send them a courtesy message. In particular, let them know if you need to extend any deadlines or reschedule any office hours.
Don’t let a few microscopic germs get in the way of your academic success. Follow these simple strategies to minimize disruptions and keep you on course.