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Emergen-C to the rescue

ORU students are as kind as college students come (maybe a little too kind sometimes), and this seems to be particularly true when their fellow students face sicknesses. Students go the extra mile, as if they’re all Enneagram twos, to help friends in need, but still they can never hide their subtle disgust of germs.   

As college students, you have to power through an illness in a dorm room, and it pulls the most vulnerable side of yourself into the light. Somehow, students can act as though other students willingly get sick with the intention of spreading their germs—as if it would be my fault when a friend catches the flu. Yet there is no sympathy for me catching the flu from a stranger.

After several occurrences of dorm-trapping illnesses, I can now vouch for the humility gained from these dreaded times. I battled the flu from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, breathing the same, stale dorm-room air to replenish my crippling immune system.   

It began on a slow, Saturday afternoon when I lay facedown on my neighbor’s dingy carpet, resenting my dry laundry waiting to be folded. I sent “anybody got Emergen-C?” to my floor GroupMe, quickly receiving a reply and knock on my door.

Making do with dorm room essentials—various vitamins, essential oils and Netflix—I tucked in for a night full of fevers and chills. My roommate made sure to “mother me” and offer medicine accompanied with a prayerful look and a covered mouth.

A number of friends were kind enough to save me from starvation, each one frowning with an “Oh, you are sick” comment and they’d blow a kiss goodbye and head straight to wash their hands.

I’d shuffle up and down the floor, shaking with greasy hair, to refill my water bottle for the 10th time and relieve myself for the 15th time, always stating my condition to passersby so as to not seem entirely pathetic.

It stands as a test to measure how loved you are, relying on the kindness of friends to nurse you back to health. The end goal is to contaminate the roommate, the whole friend group, and if we’ve done it right, strangers, which is why we love those “You gave me a runny nose” texts.

Through it all, I am thankful for the kindness and empathy of my friends, even if it is paired with an overwhelming attitude of “Please, don’t get me sick” or “Just get better already.” The thoughtfulness of ORU students makes struggling through sickness almost as easy as when we had our moms to baby us—some of you still have that and it shows.