Emily Little

Sick days no longer fun

In elementary school, every kid's favorite thing is getting to stay home sick. Even though they may not feel terrible, they jump at even the slightest bit of a fever so they don't have to go to school. I myself was like this, waiting for an opportunity to lay in bed all day watching TV while my friends sat in class. Of course, we all feel this way sometimes, wishing and hoping for any excuse to get out of school or work. However, it is not that simple for me anymore. With missing a day of school comes the headache of catching up on all of my work. It seems as though I could have a very easy week in all of my classes, then miss one day, and come back completely lost. Rather than being a nice, relaxing experience, a sick day is nothing but stressful. When I'm home sick, after resting as much as I can, I spend my day frantically trying to keep up with my classwork. In elementary or middle school, when even the smallest bit of illness appeared, it was an easy decision. I stayed home, took a long nap, and went back to school whenever I felt better. Now, however, being a sophomore in high school, this is definitely not the case.
Not only are my classes much more difficult than they were when I was younger, but they also come with more homework. Missing just one day of school can often set me back almost an entire week, which makes me try my hardest not to get sick. From missing three tests in one day to missing a major project due date, a sick day can be extremely hard to bounce back from. When I wake up feeling awful, I always have to run through my schedule in my head. I think about what assignments are being turned in that day, if I would be missing one of my more difficult classes, or if I would be missing coverage of a particularly difficult topic. If I do decide that I truly feel ill enough to miss school, I discuss it with my parents. If I end up at that point, I usually crawl back into bed and sleep for several more hours. Even when I am too sick to move, I rarely lose my appetite. I find myself snacking all day, even if I feel nauseous. I also find myself reaching for a Gatorade bottle, which I always have close by when I start to feel under the weather. As much as I try to limit my sick days, when I am out, I have a definite routine. After waking up from my early morning nap I check my teachers' websites to get any information I might need for the day. If I have any homework or projects with me, I work on them until they are completed. After that, school is just about over, so I text my friends for the day's assignments. While in theory, having a day off from school sounds nice, it's quite misleading. A sick day can cause me to get extremely far behind in schoolwork, which makes it hard to get back to my normal schedule. After being out for a day or two, my first day back to school always gets me a little confused. When I am not feeling my best on a school day, I have a pretty difficult decision to make - to put on a brave face and go to school or rest at home for the day. While my younger self loved sick days, I now avoid them like the plague.