As a college student who has been stuck in her dorm room with a debilitating cold for the past week, I speak from experience when I say that it is important to maintain healthy habits in a campus setting.
The price of tissues, tea and ibuprofen can add up, so take the less expensive route and prevent illness.
Below is a list of tips for surviving cold and flu season.
1. Keep your hands clean.
Soap and water is not always available before meals, but hand sanitizer usually is. I know that my dining halls provide this valuable resource—take advantage of yours. One squirt can be the difference between good health and illness.
2. Drink your orange juice.
I am no nutritionist, but I know that Vitamin C is important to maintaining a fully functioning immune system. My friend accounts her perpetual good health to her enthusiasm for orange juice. She may be right. I now force myself to drink orange juice regularly.
3. Eat your greens.
It can be so easy in a cafeteria setting to choose tater tots over green beans, but it is important for every aspect of your health, not just your immunity, to maintain a well-balanced diet.
The good news is that dining halls generally serve a range of fruits and vegetables alongside the fried foods. I recently discovered pears—college is an educational experience in every sense.
4. Sleep a little.
I am constantly hearing the scientific re-affirmation of the importance of sleep. Sleep keeps your body healthy and is a vital factor in longevity. So if you want to live past college, sleep (at least a little).
Stress can put a major strain on your immune system. And you will not work well under unhealthy amounts of stress.
Take breaks from studying and general busyness to take walks, perform yoga or participate in some other de-stressing activity. I like to knit; and knitting yourself a hat may help prevent illness, too!
6. Cough into your chicken-wing.
If you do become sick, be considerate to others and actively contain the illness. Wash your hands often and cough and sneeze into your elbow - never your hands. This will help prevent any germs from spreading.