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How to Get Back on Track After an Illness

Last week, we offered some tips on staying healthy and avoiding illness this winter. But of course, sometimes viruses strike even when we’re doing our best to avoid them. If you do get sick, take these steps to avoid falling too far behind on your coursework.

Be proactive. Rest is critical to your recovery. But don’t wait until you’re completely better, and have returned to school, and then try to make up an entire week’s worth of work. When you feel up to it, go ahead and call or email your teachers. Ask them to send your assignments, and get a friend or sibling to bring any necessary books or supplies that you’ve left at school.

Do what you can, when you can. The great thing about doing your work from home is that you don’t have to pack everything into certain hours. Start working on your assignments slowly, taking plenty of breaks to rest. Most readings and simple assignments can be completed in bed; save more difficult work for when you’re feeling better.

Break it up into manageable goalposts. Decide which assignments you want to tackle each day, and set goalposts to measure your progress. Each time you reach one, take a break.

Ask for help. If you’re struggling with a particular problem, now is not the time to tough it out. You’ll only stress yourself and impede your recovery. Call or email a friend for help, ask your parents, and stay in touch with your teachers.

Know when to stop. If something gives you an unusual amount of trouble, set it aside and work on a simpler assignment for now. In a day or two you might feel up trying it again.

Ask for an extension. If you need it, there is nothing wrong with asking for an extension on make-up work. Keep in mind that teachers are generally more understanding if you don’t wait until the last minute to make this request, and if they can see you made a sincere effort to do at least part of the work.

Get a note from your doctor. Your school probably enforces an absence policy, and requires a doctor’s note after a certain number of absences. Make sure to comply with this, or you might not be allowed to make up missed work.

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