Getting sick is not great. That everyone can agree on. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable. You may catch a bug or simply stare at your phone too long and get a headache. A lot of college students actually make themselves ill because of the overwhelming stress and pressure they put on themselves. First of all, don’t be that person. Second of all, know what to do if you get sick and where to get healthcare. So put on your reading glasses because we are going to tell you exactly what to do when you get sick in college:
For different scenarios, there are different approaches
- For example, you might have a cold or get the freshman flu, which you can easily avoid it by reading this post. Colds don’t last that long and they usually aren’t life-threatening. If you have the sniffles and a headache, within a week’s time they'll be gone. Sometimes you can get other symptoms like a fever and cough.
- Perhaps you ate something bad the night before and the next day you woke up feeling ill and nauseous. With food poisoning, sadly, you just have to let it run its course.
- Alternatively, you might get a really bad headache that develops into a migraine and have to skip a day’s worth of classes.
In all of the above situations, you don’t need to panic. There are plenty of over-the-counter medication you should stock up on to have in case you get sick, for example, pain killers and nausea medicine. For colds, throat lozenges are really handy or something like VapoRub, that soothes your chest. Of course, we are no experts so you should do your own research as to which medicine you can take.
Here's a basic guideline of what to do when you get sick:
- Stay at home! No one will benefit from you dragging yourself to class and forcing yourself to take part in seminars. Least of all you…
- Have plenty of rest. This means no hard-core workouts, going out, or drinking. You should also get some sleep and eat healthy.
- Take medicine when needed. A lot of medicine is completely safe to take at home if you follow the instructions. Always ask someone you can trust (like a parent, doctor, or pharmacist) what medicine you should take.
- Catch up on missed classes by looking at lectures online or asking someone for their notes.
Pay your doctor a visit
The occasional freshman flu or winter bug will get everyone at some point and they aren’t reasons to stress. However, sometimes there are more serious or persistent things that can mess up your routine. They might be heavier colds or headaches you keep getting every few days. On the other hand, it may be things like feeling tired all the time or nausea that doesn’t go away. There are so many reasons behind all of these things. This means that it’s best not to try to guess what's wrong and DIY your way through medication. In this case, it’s always best to go see your doctor.
Everyone should have healthcare. Not just working students. Healthcare is essential since you don’t have control over when or if you get sick or if you are in an accident. Therefore, you should make it one of your top priorities to register with a GP (general practitioner). Insurers like United Consumers, Univé, Ditzo and Aon have great deals for health insurances as well as student healthcare. You can read more about the types of insurances you might need as an international student!
Don't forget about healthcare allowance
Finally, what you must do, is apply for healthcare allowance. Depending on your status and income, you will receive a certain amount each month toward your health insurance bill. This is provided by the Dutch government. Now, not everyone can apply. You have to meet certain requirements and have a certain threshold of income each month.
What we are getting at here is that health insurance allowance can really help you in the long run. If you have healthcare, that’s fine! Everything you are insured under will be covered by your insurer. However, if you have an insurer that offers you a basic package but you need to add on and pay extra for additional coverage, your bill might go up. While it may be easy to budget your daily expenses, it can become a bit trickier to juggle rent, healthcare, tuition, and all the other costs of living when there are a lot of bills to keep track of. That’s why we recommend reading up about healthcare allowance and possibly applying.
You can use College Life's healthcare allowance calculator to estimate how much you are eligible for. Make sure to also read the frequently asked questions to see whether you've been wondering about any of them yourself.
Hopefully you have a better picture of how to take care of yourself in college! Moving out is hard and living by yourself for the first time is even harder. Put getting sick on top of that and it can become stressful, quickly. Remember to do your research, ask a professional, and don’t hesitate to visit your doctor when you aren’t sure!
Get well soon!