How To Stay Healthy In College: Surviving Life on Campus

I realized during my first college cold that it was quite a bit different than being sick in high school. In high school, you can spend the day in your bed, turn in your homework a day late, and you usually have a parent around if you ever need anything. 

When you get sick in college, you still have to share a room with your roommate, go get your food at the dining hall, and take responsibility for your classes. To learn how to stay healthy in college, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you.

How To Stay Healthy In College

  • Prevention is key

It is definitely easier to stay healthy than it is to get better when you are sick. Your immune system is most prone to sickness at the beginning of the year, so make sure you take as many precautions as you can.

Make sure you bring vitamins to school and keep up to date with your vaccinations. Always wash your hands before eating. Try your best to eat healthy foods that will strengthen your immune system so that it will be strong before you get sick.

Although doing all these things won’t always prevent you from getting sick, they will definitely help as you are learning how to stay healthy in college and fight off the disease faster than if you didn’t take these preventative measures.

  • Communicate with your roommate

Since you will be sharing a room with another student, you are both bound to get sick at some point throughout the year. Communication is key regarding all aspects of having a roommate, especially when the time comes when one of you are sick.

If your roommate is sick, try to study as much as you can outside of the room. This is a great tactic to use as you are learning how to stay healthy in college. Not only will this help prevent you from getting sick, but it will allow your roommate as much undistracted rest as possible.

Try your best to be as quiet as possible when entering and leaving the room because the only thing that makes you feel better when you are sick is sleep.

Although you may not be best friends with your roommate, you should still try to be as empathetic as possible when they are sick so when your turn comes around they will do the same for you.

  • Make a trip to your health center if needed

Student health insurance is usually included in school tuition, and it is a service that many students tend to forget about. Although we want  you to learn how to stay healthy in college, let’s face it, there will be times when the germs will get the best of you. 

At the University of Illinois, you can schedule an appointment online with your primary doctor that they assign to you at the beginning of your freshman year. When I got really sick during finals week, I went to see my doctor and she was able to prescribe me medicine that would have costed much more if I had gone to Walgreens.

Besides having a pharmacy included in our health center, we also have the opportunity to pick up two “packs” for semester. These too are included in our health plan, and a few of the common ones that I picked up last year were the stress pack, the wound pack, and the common cold pack, which all the names are pretty self explanatory.

  • Take it easy on yourself

You will realize early in the semester that life of a college student is busy as can be. From going to classes, getting an on campus job and keeping up with social obligations it will sometimes feel that you are always on the go.  

It is important to let yourself have the time you need to heal when you are sick in college. If you continue to try to go at the same speed as you normally do when you are feeling healthy, you are just going to wear yourself down even more.

Get an adequate amount of sleep each night, take a day off of class if you need to, and don’t feel obligated to keep your plans with your friends if you aren’t feeling up to it.

Like I mentioned before, we want you to learn how to stay healthy in college, but there will be times where you just need a little rest and relaxation.The more time you allow yourself to recuperate from being sick in college, the sooner you will be back up to speed and feeling healthy again.

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Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying journalism. She is involved with the student newspaper, new student programing, and greek life on campus. She has a passion for travel, loves animals, and is always up for an adventure. Shannon also enjoys movies, music and fashion.