Student Success Strategy #47: Student Health: Mononucleosis

Josh was a healthy 18 year old student at a large college.  After about two months, he was struggling to stay awake, feeling sluggish all day, sleeping through alarm clocks, coughing to clear a scratchy throat, and feeling aches throughout his body.

Mononucleosis!  The “kissing disease” had struck.

College life means close contact with many other students.  Just like gossip, germs travel quickly through close quarters and close friends.  Kissing isn’t necessary to catch mono – just having the bad luck to have that germ find you is enough.

Some students are able to fight off a mild case, and continue with classes, homework and projects, and even a social life.  Others drop out of school to get well, because the effort to continue is beyond what their bodies can do.

What should you do if you get sick at college?

First, have yourself checked out at the student health center or  your own doctor.  Your symptoms may be from something mild and may resolve themselves quickly.  In any case, notify your professors if you need some extra time, will miss class, or might fall asleep in class.  With a note from the doctor, most professors will accommodate you as much as they can.

Discuss your options with your doctor, your parents, and your advisor.  If you need to drop out for the semester, has the drop deadline already passed?  If it has, look into medical withdrawal procedures.  This allows you to drop your semester – all classes must be dropped under medical withdrawal – and return when you are healthy.

If you drop within the drop deadline, find out what you must do to be eligible to return.  Do you need to apply for readmittance?   Ask your advisor!

Don’t ignore your health, but don’t ignore your education.  If you are unable to continue, be sure you take positive action to drop.  Doing nothing will result in grades that reflect your work throughout the semester, and that could mean an F in every class.

Student Success Strategy #47:  Your health is important.  Don’t let it stop you from your goals, but know your limitations.


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