Toughing out illnesses not for faint of heart


Wenyuan Chen | The Daily Illini

Photo of the McKinley Health Center on 1109 S. Lincoln Ave. on April 17, 2016.

By K.J. Gandhi, Columnist

gandhikj_cutoutEvery lecture hall and classroom is filled with constant coughing and sneezing because we are in the midst of the cold season. For an 18-year-old who is away from home for the first time ever, it is a reality check. There is no one to take care of you or to tell you that it is time to visit the doctor after being sick for more than a week.

I had my first reality check two weeks ago when I suddenly felt lightheaded as I entered my dorm hall bathroom. Initially, I felt alright so I continued walking until a constant ringing in both of my ears grew louder and louder with every step I took. I completely lost my orientation and fell headfirst toward the tile floor.

The delusional feeling of invincibility that college students get from drinking excessively and pulling all-nighters convinces them that nothing can go wrong; however, my busted lip and bruised nose prove otherwise.

Even after what happened, I planned on going to classes until my roommate convinced me not to. This does not apply to everyone, but we live in a society where most of us prioritize going to classes over our own well-being, just so we do not miss anything that could possibly be on the midterm.

Soon after he convinced me to stay, I scheduled an appointment at McKinley Health Center to get checked out. They told me it was a mixture of seasonal allergies and dehydration.

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This is not a column about being a hypochondriac and constantly going to McKinley to get examined for every little problem you have, but it’s about being responsible enough to take care of yourself. For a message so simple, people still tend to neglect their health.

As a new student, I quickly realized that there are a lot of resources and tools provided by McKinley that everyone should take advantage of — the doctors are here to help, after all.

McKinley may seem far from the Ikenberry Commons, and people may not want to take the time out of their days to go visit the doctor for a measly cold; however, you could be doing a favor to other people by being treated instead of spreading a virus.

Students should not forget about McKinley or take it for granted like I almost did. Getting sick is natural, but it should not be at the expense of your own personal well-being if the illness persists.

It is tough not to succumb to societal pressure, but the extra hour of feel-better sleep pays off in the long run, especially if you can catch up on all the missed work afterwards.

K.J. is a freshman in DGS.

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