A Relatively Comedic and Potentially Relatable Monologue on why Sick Days Tend to Suck.


The clock read 2:06 a.m. and the sharp pain in the back of my throat seemed far from working its way out. I imagined a small creature hiding out next to my larynx, kicking and screaming, but all I could think was, “I really need to get better. I can’t miss any school.”

After three days of my slowly sprouting sickness, every night I wished for the same thing. “I hope I feel better when I wake up. I can’t miss any school.” With the last thing on my mind being my personal well-being, or others’, dragging myself to school would undoubtedly get someone else sick, this statement seemed far from healthy. After witnessing a coughing fit, my mother took control of the situation, as per usual, and insisted I stay home.

Throughout the day, my mind wandered through terrifying topics ranging from “I bet the teachers all handed out packets on crucial information sure to be on the final” to “All of my teachers probably decided today would be the best day for a very important lesson that they don’t have time to reteach to me.”

After experiencing many days off in my life, I can confidently say that sick days sit firmly near the bottom of my “List of How Awesome a Day off of School is.” (as follows)

1. Snow days. I am deeply sorry to every high school student in Florida, but snow days are clearly the best type of day off from school. After a night of doing homework, there’s almost nothing more rewarding than waking up at an ungodly hour for school to learn that you can go back to sleep. Finished homework: check. Hot chocolate: check. Footie pajamas: check. Real life parallel: surprise parties.

2. Pre-planned school breaks. Getting time off from school, especially during winter if you live in Michigan, can be a lifesaver. Whether it’s spent binge watching all eight seasons of “Monk” or scuba diving in Mexico, up to two weeks off for mental recuperation presents a strong candidate for second place.

3. Post finals week days off. With no homework in sight, vegging out for five days while your elementary and middle school aged siblings have to go to school is very fulfilling. While five days might not make up for the nine years taken off my life from all of that studying, I’ll still take it.

4. Professional development days. I don’t know, the thought of teachers going to school while students sleep and hang out at home seems so right.

5. Power outages and other problems with the school itself. While pretty rare at some schools, these days give the same pleasantly surprised feeling gotten from snow days. But they’re so infrequent they don’t deserve a higher placement on the list.

6. Extra vacation days, “Look, kids, the flights are cheaper if we leave Tuesday at 4 a.m.” Being one of very few people missing school makes homework start to pile up, but hey, who can complain about a longer vacation.

7. Field trip or other school activity that makes you miss class. Field trips are cool, but you can still miss a substantial amount of school. Often worth it for inside jokes and the occasional bizarre thing you see your teacher do, such as break dance or hide behind a couch.

8. College visit. Stress and homework pile up, plus people make you talk about your future. Gross.

9. Sick days. They involve being sick, missing class, being sick, often not having the ability to take advantage of extra sleep time because of being sick, having homework and being sick! Plus, if you thought I was unproductive before, try handing me a math assignment on a sick day.

10. Missing school because of a religious holiday that’s not on a break. These help you think about weird school break arrangement inequalities that you hadn’t thought about before. “Why do they even call it ‘holiday’ or ‘winter’ break. We all know what it overlaps with.” (It rhymes with Shristmas.)

Firmly in 9th place, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that sick days suck. But, luckily, almost everything looks better from a different perspective. Another way to look at a sick day is as an opportunity. An opportunity to write a melodramatic article about how much you hate sick days, an opportunity to read a melodramatic article about how much someone hates sick days, an opportunity to drink tea, to sleep all day, to watch a movie, but most importantly, it’s an opportunity to allow yourself some time to get better, so get well soon to all my fellow sickos.