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How to combat a cold in college

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Published: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Updated: Sunday, January 19, 2014 15:01


 

The end of the semester is here with only 32 days remaining. For many this means several research/final papers, a couple of group projects and the dreaded final exams to wrap it up.   

These final 32 days require a delicate dance that is a mixture of juggling torches to know what’s up in the air right now, when it’s coming back down and what needs to go in the air next, walking a tightrope to stay on track, and a trapeze artist with impeccable timing to pull it all together. 

Introduce the x-factor of a single microscopic organism, and this well-oiled machine geared for the end-of-the-semester crunch quickly starts running like a 1972 Ford Pinto that was forgotten behind a barn for 20 years.

Here are several tips to help combat a cold and maintain a healthy workflow.  Hopefully this can help turn that Ford Pinto into, at least, a 1997 Buick LeSabre, where it’s not pretty and has numerous malfunctions, but it gets the job done.

First a disclaimer, this four-step process is only effective with a cold.  Using these methods for the flu will on exacerbate the situation and have you cursing the poor sap at The Gateway who wrote this, and the editors who allowed such rubbish to find its way to print.

The first step is for those who have early mornings, either the early class or the regular 8:00 a.m. start at work.  Coffee, and plenty of it.  For those who don’t have the easy access coffee pot in the break room, take careful consideration of quantity.  Anything less than 20 ounces is just a tease.

Remember that there isn’t this magical coffee pot a few feet away that can fulfill the need for more caffeine at a moments notice.  When stranded without the magical coffee pot, fill up with the largest coffee you can possibly find. If filling the prescription at a specialty coffee shop, an extra shot or two of espresso could be the difference between making it through the morning or being caught napping in the early class.

After the coffee rush is in full effect, hands might have a slight tremor to them and the stomach could feel like a rolling ocean from the 36-ounce triple-shot extravagance from the local café, it is time for the second step.  This step should normally be introduced between two and three hours after the first treatment of coffee and repeated regularly throughout the day. 

Smoking cigarettes, if you haven’t tried or don’t yet… start. Patients found that this sweet inhalation of chemical “nutrients” will steady that hand shaking, calm the stomach and even leave a serene feeling.  This calmer mood helps to counteract the hostility and jittery after-effects from the coffee, hopefully avoiding the all-out-coffee-rage-breakdown that is imminent after the 36-ounce triple-shot while fighting the cold.

Any brand, color or size will work.  For a healthier option, electronic-cigarettes might be a better option, although studies have reported conflicting results. The important part of this step is to just do it. This is critical before moving on to step three.   

The end-of-the-semester machine is still not firing on all cylinders, but the morning tasks have all been completed to a satisfactory level.  After several courses of cigarettes, the screaming fit with a friend in the halls has been eluded, and the low fuel signal of the brain lights up.  Coffee comes to mind, and the rapid response is, “hell no, I’m not pulling that again.”  This is when the third-step should be introduced, Red Bull.

It’s doesn’t have to be a fancy trademarked name, but now is the apparent time for an energy drink.  If after a near coffee-meltdown the thought of introducing more caffeine to the situation is a little frightening, purchase two 12 ounce cans and take what is needed.  If flat lining, then go straight for the 16 or 20 ounce cans.  

This step will help to give that extra boost to get through the rest of the day without all the stomach issues and wrath that comes along with coffee.  Now those papers and projects can get at least some of the much needed attention that they are craving, or possibly starving for.  The only problem with the “magical wings” that have recently been endowed is that when they leave, they take much of the remaining fuel in the already dwindling tank of gas.

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