How To Be Healthy In College During Flu Season

Winter break is over and it is time to get that second semester started. This semester might be a lot like your first semester, but there is one exciting addition: Sick People!

With the cold and flu season upon us it is important to stay on top of your health. Being knocked around by a bad cold or flu, even if it only lasts a few days, can have a really negative impact on your grades. So, as they say, better safe than sorry.

There are tons of ways you can keep yourself from catching that nasty bug that is making its way around campus. Here’s how to be healthy in college:

1. Wash Your Hands.

This is a pretty common piece of advice but it is especially important on a college campus. Everywhere you go you are probably surrounded by hundreds of people. Dorm rooms, dining halls, class rooms and hallways are overrun with people going in and out of them throughout the day, so you never know what kind of unseemly germs can be floating around. Make sure you are washing your hands often, especially before eating and touching your face.

If you are concerned about your hands cracking from being washed a lot in the cold water, keep a tube of hand lotion in your book bag.

2. Take Your Vitamins

This is an excellent form of preventative medicine, and is always a good practice. It can be especially helpful during cold and flu season. Getting your full daily dosage of vitamins (especially C) will help strengthen your immune system and build up your body’s defenses.

If you have a sick roommate or good friend, try going the extra mile. Invest in some Emergen-C or Airbourne for days when someone you spend a lot of time with is sick. They are also great to take if you weren’t able to get a full night’s rest. Skipping out on sleep can take a toll on your body’s defenses and getting some extra vitamins will help stave off that winter cold.

3. Keep A Medicine Kit

A medicine kit is great to have on hand for lots of reasons. Along with your Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and Tums make sure you pack some cold and flu medicines. Being prepared to deal with aches, chest congestion, sinus congestion, a runny nose and a cough will help get your symptoms under control before they get too bad.

If you can, avoid getting medicines that make you too drowsy. When you are already tired from being sick, some cold medications can make you so drowsy that its hard to form a decent sentence. Avoid those at least until you have had time to get your work done or e-mail your professors.

4. Sleep

Sleep! It is the very best medicine. In the midst of homework, projects, work and extracurricular activities, sleep can often get neglected. It is important during cough and cold season to put a bit of extra effort into getting a full night’s sleep. If your body is tired and weak, it will be more susceptible to the bacteria and viruses that cause winter illness.

Sleep if also a great way to keep small symptoms from turning into a full-fledged sickness. If you feel a cold coming on, try to get some extra sleep to help your body knock it out as soon as possible.

College life keeps you busy most of the time, and most students don’t have a few days to spare because of an illness. Some may say it is impossible, but with these tips on how to be healthy in college might be able to manage the miracle of staying healthy through the whole winter.

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Amber Bray

Amber Bray

Amber Bray is a senior at North Central College studying journalism and graphic design. Apart from her classes Amber writes a relationship advice column, along with other pieces, for the North Central Chronicle. She also writes and designs for North Central’s online magazine, The Viewfinder. Amber is a trivia fanatic and in her free time she enjoys board games, reading and writing fiction, and spending time with friends and family.