Too Sick for School? How to Catch Up on Coursework Once You’re Feeling Better


Back to the blog

No matter how on top of your health you may be, getting sick is inevitable, in college or otherwise.  Sometimes, no amount of Vitamin C can protect you from the viral or bacterial infections that spread in environments where hundreds – or even thousands – of people intermingle. This is especially true if you, like many other students, attend courses in old buildings with outdated ventilation systems or within an especially challenging climate.

Once you’ve fallen ill, staying in bed is really the best route to take, as plenty of rest is critical to your (hopefully) speedy recovery. Though plenty of time off is great for your body, it can easily wreak havoc on your college responsibilities, if you don’t proceed with caution once you’re back on your feet. So, if you’re stressing about your impending return to campus so much that you’re feeling sick all over again, check out these 5 tips— straight from your pals at uCribs — on how to catch up on schoolwork after being out sick.

catching up on schoolwork, out sick, sickness, wellness, health, staying healthy, out sick, college tips, college life

Re-acquaint yourself with your syllabus.

While you were sick, the last thing on your mind was your syllabus. Now that you’re on the mend, it’s crucial that you take another look at your course syllabi and remind yourself which due dates are coming up, as well as the ones you might have missed while you were existing on nothing more than chicken soup and cold medicine. So, whip out your syllabi and your all-important personal planner (or smartphone app – whichever works best for you) and take note of what’s coming up in the weeks ahead. From there, you can create a plan of attack for your outstanding work, and jot down any concerns you wish to address with your instructors. Which leads us to our next tip…

Schedule a time to sit down with your professors.

Sitting down for a one-on-one chat with your professor can be anxiety-inducing. However, it’s a must-do if you’ve fallen behind on your coursework and want to know the best way to catch up. If you’ve missed a considerable amount of assignments or lectures and feel overwhelmed, there couldn’t be a better step to take in your catch-up process. While your professor might not let you get out of all of your mounting responsibilities, there’s a good chance that they’ll be sympathetic to your situation and help you devise a plan that satisfies all the requirements.  Either way, you’ll certainly earn a few brownie points with your instructor after taking this proactive approach.

catching up on schoolwork, out sick, sickness, wellness, health, staying healthy, out sick, college tips, college life

Meet up with classmates to ask questions and borrow notes.

No matter what your class schedule looks like, there are bound to be at least a few students in each course who not only attend every class, but also take exceptional notes and pay attention to your professors’ every last word. In fact, you’re probably thinking of one of those very people right now! Go ahead and reach out to these studious peers to see if they’d be willing to share their notes from the days you were out sick. You might even see if they can answer your lingering questions about the material covered or any upcoming assignments. Just be sure to remember the Golden Rule, and don’t forget to share your notes with these students when they miss class, too!

Don’t make the mistake of skipping class to catch up on work.

When you’re up against multiple deadlines, you might decide that skipping more class to catch up is a reasonable way to slim down your to-do list. While it’s understandable that you’d want to do this, it’s only a good idea if you’re looking to bury yourself in even more missed work. Unfortunate as it is, you’re going to have to suck it up and dedicate time outside of class to making up all of your missed assignments. Will it be fun? Probably not…but you can bet that your efforts will be worth it once you’re finally caught up with your classmates.

Be sure to take care of yourself.

In the midst of all your catch-up work, you might easily overlook one of the most important things on your to-do list: taking care of your health! Though you might be well enough to go back to class, it’s likely that you’re still not fully recovered from your illness. Hey, don’t blame yourself – even the common cold virus takes up to ten days to leave your body, although you’ll probably start to feel better around day five. Ease your transition back into the craziness of college life and follow the same basic health tips you’d use to avoid getting sick in the first place. In doing so, you’ll give your immune system a serious boost, while it’s working overtime to ward off further infection.

It can be hard to jump back into college life after being out sick. After all, you just spent several days sleeping and streaming movies, and now, just a few days later, you’re back to your regular schedule, which demands considerably more effort. It’s a catch-22 that every college student faces at some point, and even though you’d rather push past your discomfort and attend class, you know it’s in your best interest to take some time off. Now, that you’re on the up-and-up, you need to realize that catching up after you’ve been out sick doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Follow uCribs’ 5 suggestions, and you’ll be back to your usual routine faster than you can ever imagine!

Share this article:


Amelia Woolard is a graduate of Millsaps College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and an Art History minor. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Amelia moved to New Orleans in 2014 to begin her career in marketing and design. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art and language, and enjoys projects that merge the two fields. Amelia is an avid yet critical pop culture consumer and a loving mother to her cat Faulkner.

Find Your College Crib