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Being sick is supposed to be awful. From sneezing to coughing to headaches to that just-all-around-lousy feeling, nearly everyone can empathize with classmates when they are sick, which is quite common this time of year. But not everyone hates being sick -- some, in fact, quite like it. "I just need the least excuse not to go to class," College junior Jonathan Barnard said. "So a major illness is great." And if missing class is not your cup of tea, other students pointed out the culinary delights that awaits the ill. "I have my own personal cold cure," College freshman Sebastian Poupon said. "You blend milk with honey and herbs. Then you mix in a lot of cognac. Drinking it makes the whole time of being sick seem worth it." Although measles has gotten the most publicity recently, cases of flu and common colds are far more prevalent on campus and have forced many students to readjust their schedules. And for most, the raw noses, the sleepless nights, and the burning fevers are nothing to celebrate. "Being sick sucks," College sophomore Dan Sacher said. "I just lie in bed waiting to get better." Sacher missed the performance of a play he was directing and was forced to drop several classes because of a recent illness. Many students said that the worst part about being sick is dealing with Student Health. They complained about the long walks and the long waits, saying these are the last things they want when they're sick. "I spend all my time at Student Health trying to get an appointment," Engineering sophomore Kerem Yaman said. Some even said that Student Health makes it more difficult to find out just how sick they are. "I phoned them when I had a rash on my face," said College senior Alara Rogers. "They refused to tell me on the phone what the symptoms of measles looked like. I had to go all the way to Student Health and sit around in the waiting room, just to be told they were bug bites." "Student Health? Are you kidding?" Engineering senior Gavin Steyn said. Despite a general displeasure with Student Health, many students said that they like to avoid taking medicine on their own. Some said they prefer to use natural remedies, while others said the expense of medicine discourages them. And some students said they have trouble keeping up with a medicine's dosage schedule. "I forget to take them," Rogers said. "I forget where I put them, I forget to buy more when I need them and when I do buy them I lose them. And when I took Tylenol, I ended up hyper. I couldn't sleep for 24 hours." Some students have more unexplainable reasons for not taking medicines. "I have a sort of irrational fear of medicines" said Steyn. "If an illness isn't serious, it will go away on its own. I just don't like them very much." And others just don't like the tastes. "For me, the excitement went out of them when I grew too old for the strawberry flavored ones," said one student. But despite the pains and aches, a lot of students said they have rather positive feelings about being sick. It's an excuse to lie in bed for days on end, studying can be postponed, and there's no need to get up first thing in the morning to go to class. "When I'm healthy I'm usually too busy studying to sleep all day," Wharton junior Paul Thurk said. "It's also a good time to catch up on watching TV." TV was second only to sleep as the means students cited for passing the time while they are sick. Graduate student A.T. Miller said he likes the restful aspect of getting sick. "I like to sleep and read when I'm sick," he said. "It's nice that you can't work, so you don't have to feel guilty about not getting anything done." And other students said the idle hours sickness brings gives them a chance to do things they usually do not get to do. "When I'm sick I go and buy a big pad of paper," Wharton sophomore Vincent Delorenzo said. "I lie in bed and crumple the sheets of paper into balls. Then I try to shoot hoops into my waste paper basket." But basketball is not the only pastime engaged in by students while infirm. "When I'm sick I have to lie in bed all the time," College junior Jonathan Barnard said. "So I masturbate four times a day." Students whose families live nearby said that being sick gives them an opportunity to return home and be pampered by their parents. "What I like about being ill is that it's a kind of return to childhood," College junior Jeff McKoviak said. "It's the only chance I get to go home and play Dungeons and Dragons with my mom." "When I'm sick I read my Legal Studies books and play Nintendo," said College junior Rob Pope. "Usually more Nintendo than reading, to be honest." And some regress so far back into childhood, they actually end up in their birthday suit. "There's no one here during the day, everyone in my suite is at class or in the library," Wharton junior Paul Thurk said. "So I like to walk around naked." But for some, the show must go on. "I've never missed a class in the last three years," said a student asked not to be named. "I quite like to go in when I'm sick so people can see how bad I feel." "It's not a neurotic thing, because I don't always go to class when I'm well," said Rogers. "But I don't like to miss class just because I'm sick." For those who don't feel too sick to do so, eating is a popular pastime while sick. Some students cited eating healthy food as a reliable cure. Oranges were particularly praised. "When I'm sick I only take natural things," said Poupon. "I don't take conventional medicines. I eat all natural foods, and I take herbal medicines." But the bottom line of sickness for many students was that it can be just plain boring. "It's such a waste of time," College Junior Paul Cyphers said. "I hate spending all that time just staring at the ceiling. I don't feel like doing anything."

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