Need a sick day? Be ready for it

After months of late nights, nutritionally suspect meals and a lot of socializing, it's bound to happen. Whether it's a cold, the flu or an unknown bug you got from that guy down the hall, you will need to take a sick day from class, your friends and maybe even the cafeteria.

Chances are you may not have anything ready for when illness strikes, and campus store inventory is minimal, so it's best to be prepared ahead of time. Here are some tips on where to start:

First of all, everyone should have a First Aid Kit. They're available in almost every drugstore, usually costing a low of $2 up to $20 (CVS has them starting at $2, but I would recommend the $19.99 kit for all your needs) and should have bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, cold or hot packs, aspirin and ibuprofen.

You can also create your own by cruising the trial-size section of your nearest drugstore or Target for small packets of bandages, ointment, aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. My favorite first-aid kits are from REI, not because they're for outdoorsy folks but because they often include antacids, insect sting wipes, antihistamine tablets for allergic reactions, elastic bandages for sprains and moleskin to treat blisters -- something you will want after walking a mile or two around campus. You might also want a trial size of cold and flu meds like Theraflu or Sudafed, just in case, and an electronic thermometer to keep an eye on any fevers. Anything over 102 degrees may need a doctor visit, according to the Mayo Clinic's First Aid guide.