Why students should prioritize their health

Back in spring 2019, I had one professor advise all the students in class to stay home if they get sick. This semester, two professors gave that same advice. I can only hope next semester, I’ll have at least one professor following in those footsteps.

Very rarely have I seen other students follow that advice.

Personally, I can’t stand it when people bring a contagious illness out into public. It shows disregard for their own health since being out in public adds time to their recovery due to any number of factors such as other people’s illnesses, severe weather, allergens in the air and more.  

Eduardo Rangel | The Poly Post

That’s bad enough, but what’s even worse is it also shows disregard for other people. It shows they don’t care if people nearby catch what they have just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There’s a good chance they don’t mean it that way, but it inevitably comes across like that. It really can’t be helped.

I have a protocol of my own for when I get sick. If staying home and recovering isn’t an option, I’ll wear a health mask to keep the sickness from spreading. And I isolate myself from other people as much as I can. 

But if I am able to stay home and recover, I’ll do that. In most situations, I’m under no obligation to be in public. 

In fact, I did stay home and recover a few weeks ago when I caught a stomach flu.

Three days of classes were missed, but it needed to be done in the name of my health and my classmates’.

School and grades are important, but professors do have policies in place for students who can’t attend class for any reason. 

Illness is accepted as a reason to excuse an absence. Assignments (and in certain cases, quizzes and tests) can be made up. And if there are extra credit opportunities, those can be taken as well to boost a class grade if a student missed an assignment that had no makeup.

Professors don’t expect students to be able to be on campus for every waking moment. It’s just unrealistic to think otherwise. 

They know we have lives and responsibilities outside of school, and they know our health could take a turn for the worse at any moment. 

As students, we just need to let them know something came up. Once we do, there’s a good chance we’ll be excused from class.

All of these policies considered, there really is no reason to be on campus when you’re sick and in need of recovery. Besides, even professors realize health is more important than grades. It’s time more students learned that lesson too.

The bottom line: There is no harm in prioritizing your own health over other responsibilities.

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