Sick tricks – how to study with the flu

By Kasharn Rao

Well hello there, you’re looking a lovely shade of creamy yellow today. And I’m sure there’s more of that colour to come, but it couldn’t have arrived at a worse time. With deadlines rapidly approaching like nerf bullets at a nine-year-old sleepover, you need to be in spick and span shape in order to wear the skin off your fingers typing that keyboard. But alas, some shitty little snot nosed kid at New World coughed all over you, and their shittier parent didn’t even tell them to put their sticky hand over their mouth. Now you’re sick. Your nose is streaming like the leak in your bathroom, your throat feels like someone made you drink a glass of fishhooks, your head feels like it’s being made furious love to by Gaston from Beauty and The Beast, your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his…

You get the idea.

Not to worry my phlegmy friend, I’ve concocted a series of sick tricks for you so you can wipe those assignments away with the boogie wonderlands in your nose.

Sick Surroundings

Think of your body as a thermostat, and flu as one of those wankers with a fidgety spinner thing. You’re going to experience hot and cold, but with none of the Katy Perry. This is because flu finds it harder to survive at high temperatures so your body heat rises to smoulder it. Hey that’s kinda neat, but why are parts of me cold? The heat is usually centralised where the infection resides, usually chest, head, neck, etc. Up the heaters a bit to keep your limbs and dainty toes nice and toasty, and wrap yourself up warm. Dress like you’re going outside, even though you most certainly aren’t. Not only will this help cook the flu, there’s a chance you could sweat some of it out. Feeling too hot? That’s a good thing. However, it can be hard to concentrate while it feels like Hell’s Kitchen, so shed your layers every now and then. Alternate between wearing less in order to study and wearing more in order to deport those viral invaders from your noble homeland.

Sick Sustenance

I’m going to assume you live off a diet of pasta, Mi Goreng, and sausages, so try not to be too heartbroken when I tell you that you gotta get some good shit in your shit system. I know food costs an arm and a leg, and half your course related costs a week, but you don’t have to blow it all on stuff you probably won’t eat anyway. All I’m saying is, a $6 bag of mandarins will do exponentially more good than Doritos. However, you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t have to cut back on your calorie-infused diet. In fact, the body needs more calories to type an essay when it’s sick, so eat all the snags you like, with the exception of adding some fruit or veg to it. Come on, $6 ain’t shit, it’s your health you’re investing in. And if you’re a normal human with feelings, you’ll have some tea stashed somewhere. Drink lots of that, it has natural bacteria-fighting compounds, and the hot liquid also helps decongest and kill germs. The only stuff you should avoid is sweet stuff, because the sugar makes the mucus stick around (not sorry).

Sick Snoozing

One of your biggest problems will be the exhaustion you will face. Many assume they should take regular breaks to nap, which truthfully is not a smart idea. Sleep is a wonderful cure for sickness, and technically pretty much everything if you think about it. Anger? Relax with a snooze. Poverty? Dream of the day in which you finally make it as a freelance designer and pay off your student debt. Alcoholism? Seep into a drunken stupor and nobody can tell you what to do. Insomnia? Let me sleep on that one, and I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, to get the most benefit from sleep, you need to sleep when it gets dark. Aim for 9pm to 10pm, around five hours before your usual bedtime. Taking regular naps will make you more tired and grumpy as you continually interrupt your circadian rhythm. A long night sleep works a lot better, so slug it out till 10 and you’ll feel less tired the next day.

Sick Supplies

The absolute best part of being sick, you get DRUGS! Lessgo, rock on down to the pharmacy. Come say hi to me at the Unichem on Cuba Street, I work Fridays. If you’re the first, I’ll shout you a pack of ibuprofen. Speaking of, there are a few rules you need to know about taking drugs. The main poppers you’ll have to worry about are paracetamol, codeine, ibuprofen, and guaifenesin.

Paracetamol is a straight up pain blocker, it prevents your body from sending those irritating texts that there is a bug in the system all day. It’s pretty much like turning your phone on silent when your ex has had too much to drink. Paracetamol is found in codral, panadol, and a brand literally called paracetamol which is the same as panadol but without the marketing.

Ibuprofen is slightly different, it’s an anti-inflammatory, so it cools heat, and removes flammation. This makes it excellent for aches and pains, especially in the muscles. After all, gotta keep those typing fingers limber. Like paracetamol and panadol, ibuprofen and nurofen are the same thing, one just has a fancy name. But if you’re the kind of person who chooses shoes that are three times as expensive as another pair because they have a little black tick on them, then you probably won’t heed my advice anyway. Sheep.

Codeine is like paracetamols older, stronger, sexier brother. It’s mostly prescription, although it is found in codral. Codeine has a stronger effect than paracetamol or ibuprofen, so unless you can type a thesis with a woozy head, keep it as a last resort.

Paracetamol, ibuprofen, and codeine are your noise control when flu has drinks at your place. And the best part is that you can take all three together, provided you don’t exceed the amount of each. The holy trifecta of pain relief, pop em and you’ll feel happier and brighter than the reflection of MAWSA President Adam’s hair in an Oriental Bay sunset.

That leaves guaifenesin. Guaifenesin isn’t pain relief, it’s an expectorant, which is basically a fishing line that reels out all the snot and phlegm and other horrid gooey substances that are found in your throat. Yes I know what you’re thinking, let’s move on.

Sick Studying

You’re all geared up, but even the coolest monster trucks are useless without a direction to take them in. You’ll need a plan. Try and develop a pattern for your study, the same you would with alcoholism. Small on-off periods work quite well, studying for 30 minutes followed by an episode of Gilmore Girls. Rinse and repeat. If you try and go the whole hog without cutting it into bacon strips first, you’ll find yourself in a ham. Your body now has limited energy, as its resources are being used to drag Flu from your body like a passenger on an overbooked flight.

Take the time to recuperate in between study, you’ll conserve more energy that way. Watching humourous content is very effective, as it can alleviate your mood, which will help you get better faster. It also clears the mind, and stimulates thinking.

I’ve compiled a list of the funniest Television shows and movies for your viewing pleasure:

  • True Detective
  • Rectify
  • The Leftovers
  • Requiem For A Dream
  • Schindler’s List
  • Bicentennial Man

Hello, you still with me? Don’t faint just yet. Studying is hard, it’s phenomenally hard when you’re sick, and it can be really difficult to remember to take care of yourself in the process. It’s easy to get caught up in the work, to push yourself just that little bit further, to grind through instead of taking the time to let your body do what it needs to do. Don’t burn yourself out, take precautions. You can’t get an A if you’re dead.

Unless they release grades posthumously?



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