In Theory, Public Health Students Do Not Get Sick

Janaiya Johnson

Janaiya Johnson

Of all my pet peeves, I think being sick tops the list! I absolutely despise having a cold. Most people would be annoyed; I find it a complete nuisance. I have meetings to go to, papers to grade, readings to…read. I went to the doctor this afternoon to make sure I didn’t have H1N1, and since I didn’t, her prescription was simply to rest. I don’t have time to do that either…or so I thought.  But as I lay in bed surrounded by tissues and empty bowls of soup, I’m reminded that the meetings will continue on with out me (and probably more efficiently than if I were there coughing and sneezing), the readings will always be there (and in fact continue to multiply), and it does no one any good if I’m not running at full capacity.  So maybe resting isn’t such a bad thing.

I think of all this, because I was hesitant to go visit a friend in Chicago this weekend as I kept thinking of all the things that I “needed” to be doing.  Matter of fact, I didn’t want to drive because I couldn’t figure out a way to keep my eyes on the road while reading for class. But I’m glad I decided to go; the weather was beautiful, I engaged in my favorite past time – shopping, and I met up with friends from college for a lovely dinner.  And in enjoying the experience, I soon forgot about all the things that I “needed” to do. In a way, I think catching a cold, helped me realize at sometime, no matter how busy we are, we all deserve and need, a self-imposed break.  It is very easy to become wrapped up in class work, group meetings, and all the activities the University has to offer, all of which contribute to the never-ending “to-do” list.  Whenever I travel to recruiting events, the first question prospective students ask is “what is there to do for fun”.   I usually have a difficult time answering that question because, while there are a million activities to participate in, one must essentially block-out time for them, and up until this point I had a difficult time doing that myself.   And so, while I firmly believe that school should always be the top priority, I don’t think there is any harm in – and in fact may be health benefits to – occasionally adding  “fun” (or rest) to the to-do list.

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