Students don’t have any time to be sick

Katrina Mossberger

Feeling the onset of a sore throat, I can’t help reminiscing of childhood. Or, more specifically, being sick when you’re a kid.

When I was young and my parents deemed me sick enough to say home, I had a glorious day off of laying around in pajamas and comfort food. I never was sick often enough for my parents to think I was faking it.

The nice thing about being sick is that everyone wants to make life a little easier. Heck, it’s even in movies. The side story to “The Princess Bride” is a grandfather reading to his grandson while he’s sick in bed. The attention lavished upon you sure makes you feel special.

But as years pass, people care less if we’re sick. The consequences for calling out sick become higher. In high school, a missed day of school meant at least five different classes missed. Now, in college, the work and notes missed mounts even high with longer classes.

And of course, most students also hold down jobs. Employers aren’t appreciative of workers who call in sick. At a job where the wages are hourly, a missed shift is missed pay. An employer once told me, “If you’re not throwing up, you’re well enough to come in to work.”

Instead of curling up in some comfy pajamas with some soup to spend some quality time with television, we now must carry on with our lives in spite of illness. Even when I come home to rest, I find I am still responsible for other things. As I heated my chicken noodle soup on the stove top I emptied and loaded the dishwasher. Why? The dishwasher won’t get emptied merely because I’m sick.

Of course, the older we become, the more responsibility we take on. And with the responsibility, we’re allowed more personal freedoms. I’m not afraid to admit I love living on my own and love all that my lifestyle entails. Part of that includes working, going to school and cleaning my apartment even when my throat is swelling and my head is pounding.

Still, it’s nice to imagine throwing off all shackles of responsibility if only for a day, to be a kid with Mom taking care of all your needs, if only for a day.