Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season on Campus

sneezeCold and flu season is here. Amidst balancing school, work and a much needed social life, cold and flu viruses run rampant on college campuses. No one wants to sit next to the sick girl (or guy) in chemistry, let alone, play drinking games with her.

Here are some ways to fight off illness and shorten its lifespan when you do get sick.

  1. If you don’t already have it, consider the cost of getting health insurance. In the event of a major illness, you’ll be glad you have it!
  2. Most cities have free and discount clinics. Contact student services or call a nearby doctor’s office to find one near you. You can also ask a doctor’s office about discounts and payment plans for students. Preventive care, such as a flu shot, is vital to staying healthy.
  3. I realize this is easier said then done, but you must rest. Take a day (and a night) off from partying, work and even class. When your body is sleep-deprived, it has no time or energy to fight off disease. This makes it easier to get sick and harder to get over it.
  4. Don’t borrow pens and pencils. Germs are spread far too easily when you use communal writing tools.
  5. I’m sure you’ve heard this 50 times in the last month but I’ll say it anyway: wash your hands. I also carry hand sanitizer with me because I’m paranoid.
  6. Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow. This prevents germs from laying on your hands and transferring to other surfaces or people.
  7. Drink a lot of water. College is a dangerous time for over-consumption of caffeine and alcohol, both of which will dehydrate you. Hydration helps your body fight disease.
  8. Do your best to eat a nutritious, balanced diet.
  9. Don’t be sedentary. Exercise boosts your immune system and makes you stronger. Make time for working out.
  10. Above all, stay away from sick people. Remind others to cover their mouths and stay home when they’re sick. Offer to take extra notes for them if they miss class. Making that effort might help keep them (and their icky germs) at home for a day.

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