Being sick in law school is a terrible experience.
During my 1L Fall semester, I spent two straight weeks, sniffling, sneezing, coughing and running mild fevers. Law school requires you to read 80+ pages a night for next days classes which become even more challenging when you can’t even keep your eyes open.
Here is how I made it through my first sick weeks of law school.
Cut Back Readings
I LOVE my note taking ritual but it can be time-consuming and nearly impossible with sickness slowing me down and requires pages going up. (And making me want to sleep 24/7). When sick, I cut this back to skimming the required readings and taking quick annotations/notes on my computer. I still felt pretty prepared during the lectures (though not as insightful as usual) and was able to keep up with the material.
Make a Sickness Kit
Law school is not an education where you can skip a week of classes while fully relying on friend’s notes, no matter how comprehensive they are. You have to hear this information for yourself which means you HAVE to go to as much class as you can! To get through classes make a small sickness kit tailored to your sickness needs.
- My Sickness Kit:
- Cough Drops
- Honey Leamon Tea Bags
- Face Spritz (To use during class breaks as a nice wakeup
- My Sickness Kit:
Get Your Friend’s Notes
Whether you go to class or not, GET YOUR FRIENDS NOTES! If you’re like me you’ll be exhausted and running on a mix of coffee, anti-nausea and dayquil, AKA you will not be your prime law school self. No matter how hard you try, you cannot expect to be paying the same amount of attention or retaining the same quality of information. You will need your friend’s non-sick minds to fill in the gaps you won’t even know you’ve missed.
Go To The Doctor!
Please for the love of the law gods go to the doctor ASAP. I am rather stubborn and suffered through an entire week of sickness before going to the doctor. The $20 copay and a trip across campus to student health were well worth it! She saw that I needed a little more than Dayquil and gave me medication that finally helped me sleep more than 3 hours a night and stopped the cough in its tracks. I still felt crappy and lethargic for the next week, but those extra hours of sleep made a HUGE difference in my ability to make it through classes and readings!
Rest and Hydrate
Being sick requires that you actually rest and drink an excess of fluids. The more you put off rest and hydration the longer you will be sick. So DO NOT continue your normal workout routine ( I had a simple cough, went to lift at the gym and was sick for two weeks) or push yourself to do more in your sick days than you normally would. Just power skim your readings, take as many notes as you can and REST. Extra rest will get you back to full capacity sooner and help you stay awake through your 3hr contracts lecture.
Cut Out Alcohol
Even when you feel slightly better, please do not go out when you are sick. At minimum just lay off the alcohol. Alcohol will make you even more dehydrated, tired and incapable of retaining law school information. Its a bummer I know, but so is being sick so suck it up and drop the booze until you are 100%. Also, cough medicine and alcohol DO NOT MIX, so just do not risk it!
Best wishes and get well soon,
P.S. (Please reach out if you have any questions, comments or concerns, I love to hear from you all!)
*I am not a medical professional, just speaking from personal experience*