How to Avoid Being Sick in College

I rarely got sick before I came to college. I had the seasonal cold and allergy symptoms, but nothing ever too serious. That will change in college.

So many different people surround you every single day; you will never know what kind of germs they will be carrying. Whether you are surrounded by people in class, or being within inches from your roommate, or even sharing the showers with everyone on your floor, this is just asking for a cold or worse.

With high school it was easy to have a parent call you in sick and have a day to recovery. In college, you don’t get that luxury. Many professors will allow one, maybe two, days for any sickness. But skipping just one day of class can leave you with a pile of extra work.

Many students go to class sick so they don’t miss anything important. Then the chain reaction starts. That one student causes several other students to get sick which then causes even more students to get sick and eventually causing a vicious cycle.

There will be constant occurrences in college where you hear coughing and sneezing echoing throughout a lecture hall. Honestly, as I write this, I am in my bed suffering with bronchitis. How ironic is that?

There will be many viruses and bugs floating around out there. When I first came to college, the highly contagious and unavoidable Swine flu was going around. About half the people I knew had it, including myself.

There are several precautions to take to avoid illness spreading. 

  • Wash Your hands

Do this. When you come home from each class, before and after each meal, after the bathroom (obviously), or when you come home from the gym (those are filthy places). Wash away those germs as much as possible.

  • Hand Sanitizer is Handy

When you aren’t around a sink to suds up your hands, sanitize your self with the gel, spray, wipes, or whatever you like. Many places have hand sanitizer around the area, making it assessable to use whenever.

  • Keep Those Hands Away From Your Face

Just avoid this as best as you can. I have a really bad habit of playing with my hair and chewing my nails. This is a perfect entrance for germs to enter in your system.

  • Take Your Vitamins

This is so important to do in college. I hated taking vitamins. I always forgot about them and I never saw the point. But now I take multivitamins, calcium, vitamin C, B12, you name it, I probably take it.

  • Exercise

Working out regularly is great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t even have to be excessive. Some simple cardio for 30 minutes can benefit you just as much. Or, to make it even easier, skip the bus to class. Leave a few minutes earlier and walk to class everyday. You get a little cardio in and it doesn’t even seem like it.

As I mentioned before, make sure you wash your hands after being at the gym. Also, intense exercising can actually cause the body to drastically fatigue, causing your immune system to lower. It will be very easy to pick up something with all those germs in the area.

  • Eat Right

Don’t fill your system up with pizza, chips, and other junk. This will not benefit you in any way. Make healthy decisions that will keep your immune system strong. Don’t forget your fruits and veggies! 

  • Get Your Vaccinations

Flu season isn’t a joke. It drains the life out of you and these are the times where you physically cannot make it out of your bed to attend class. This can really back fire, especially if it’s during an important time in the semester like midterms. So get your flu shot.

  • Keep Your Drinks to Yourself

Taking a sip of someone’s apple juice at breakfast might seem harmless but it most certainly isn’t. Sharing food or drinks is a quick way to swap saliva that can contain all sorts of germs like mono and the flu.

  •  Never Pull All-Nighters

I’ve mentioned this in one of my previous post about how awful staying up all night is. It really destroys your immune system as well as making you feel miserable without actually being sick. Do your body a favor and don’t stay up all night for whatever reason.

  • Don’t Forget About Student Health Centers

Every campus offers some sort of student health center. Don’t ignore this opportunity that your university offers. They will help you with any sickness that you caught or you feel approaching.

I suggest going the moment you feel something coming on. They could possibly help you prevent from getting too sick. And remember, you are paying for it in your tuition; take advantage of this. 

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Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman is a senior at University of Iowa pursuing degrees in Journalism and English. Having a passion for food, she loves cooking and visiting restaurants. Besides cooking, you’ll find her reading, catching up on TV shows, or hanging out with friends and family. She is an enthusiastic Chicago fan. She devotes herself to “da” Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox.