STOP COUGHING IN LECTURES
This hack can’t hack the hacking
Lubricate your windpipes, people.
We’re a few weeks into university. Initial anxieties have started to fade, manic fresher friendliness, and we’ve embarked on greater sexual and chemical experimentation. IN this over-excited period of intense, and often experimental activity, we’ve collectively developed the infamous freshers’ flu: a cesspit of millennial splutter and saliva, a cocktail of fear, sticky floor clubs, and FOMO.
I have sympathy with you, I really do. Due to over-indulgence in gin, sweaty jiving in dimly lit rooms, and brushing up against my filthy new friends, I too have been afflicted by Generic Uni Disease. Sickophobes, look away now; snot fetishists, get ready: symptoms include – dry throat, enough phlegm to supply a biochem lab for a week; permanently boom boom beats head; lethargy, sore eyes, and homesickness.
And the tendency to RUIN MY LIFE by coughing in every. Fucking. Lecture.
Every class I have yet attended is filled with a cacophony (ca-COUGH-any – aha!) of hacking, spluttering, and germ creating.
Here’s what happens.
I turn up to the lecture hall. Feeling, perhaps, somewhat the worse for wear after the Mad Sesh of the night before. A bit sniffly, maybe.
I sit down, get out my finely sharpened biro and A4 pad. I am ready to learn. The lecturer starts to shuffle their papers and to present the lecture.
And then it begins…
A chorus of dry coughs, of dusty retching. A descant of drippingly moist sneezes. A baseline of jaw-aching, growling hacks. The rustle of tissues. The sloppy expulsion of phlegm onto heavy handkerchiefs.
These things seem to work on a basis of inverse proportionality: the quieter, more socially- anxious mouse the lecturer, the louder the coughing becomes. The more important the point, the greater the fireworks of flu.
Now, I study LANGUAGES. This means that, at various points in my classes, variously complicated European sounds emanate around the lecture hall. 'jemisuisncausainsejksa' is even less comprehensible when drowned in a background of my course mates' gunky wheezing.
What’s the solution? LUBRICATE YOUR WINDPIPES. This writer is no superwoman; yet I have managed to not interrupt others’ lives, and immune systems, by obnoxiously spreading phlegm over every surface. It’s called willpower; get a grip.
If, however, you want a more marketable option, get your disgusting self down to Boots, and select your germ-blitzing weapon of choice.
Night Nurse is my personal favourite; I use it during the exam season, and it, without fail, has been a great green auntie to me for many years. Once you get past the initial revulsion at its taste (it’s no strawberry calpol), it clears your throat, mind, and head, of any residual However, you can (and I regularly do) become dependent on it. But hey, chemical addiction is definitely a better call than snot blocking your nasal cavities. It’s always a balance.
Option no 2: Go old school. Dig around the recesses of your relatives' great wisdom, and do something sensible with your oesophagus. Don't get hot and bothered, get some honey in some hot water. Recently I was given a top notch recipe: tumeric and pepper in warm milk. Very unami, and seriously scoured my sinuses.
Finally – shock horror – consider not drinking alcohol??? Or going out??? A bit of a wild suggestion, that one; but probably the most effective, long-term. Yes, you may identify as a strong and independent university student, who don't need no sleep schedule; and yes, snapping your super wild sesh will make others more jealous, than you watching Peep Show alone in your room. The morning after, however, as your dry splutter transforms into a beefy rumble, and your germy droplets scatter across everyone else's notes, your raving antics won't be so popular.
Suck it up, drink up, and go to bed before 2AM. And the rest of the lecture hall won't have to put up with your snotty excuses any longer.