How to stay healthy on campus

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Those who have made it to February without having to visit the Student Health Center must have an immune system that can get them through anything. It seems like almost everyone on campus has been sick, and there is no way to avoid them.

After googling tips to stay healthy or to avoid the flu, it is clear these tips were not written with college students in mind. The first thing the search pulls up says to stay at home and get plenty of sleep. This is comical to students who have class, internships, jobs and meetings to go to.

So how do you avoid getting sick (again) or rundown during the chaos that is spring semester?

1. Drink plenty of fluids. Water, orange juice, chicken soup and hot tea will be your best friends until the campus is healthy again. Hydration is key when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing through lectures.

2. Stay rested. The immune system needs energy to battle all of the germs that are coming at it. With the first round of exams rapidly approaching this will be hard, but taking a weekend off from parties or skipping a gym session so your body can recuperate will be more beneficial in the long run.

3. Don’t drink alcohol if you are sick or if you’re feeling sick. Some people argue that the alcohol will kill the bacteria in your throat therefore you will feel better after drinking. This is false. You wont feel better; in fact you will feel worse. Dehydration will most likely occur and if you have a sore throat alcohol will only dry your throat out more.

4. If you have the flu, wear a mask. The mask will catch some of your germs and protect those around you. While it isn’t stylish, your roommates will thank you. Remember to put it over your nose and mouth to properly catch all the germs you are breathing out into the communal air.

5. Keep tissues and cough drops with you. Puffs Plus with the Scent of Vicks and Halls Breezers Cool Creamy Strawberry cough drops are personal favorites of many. Keeping your throat protected and sinuses clear will help keep illness at bay.

6. Shower. This seems like an odd point to make, since we are in college and most people have effective hygiene habits. Taking a hot shower when you’re sick can help clear out sinuses to relieve pressure. Staying clean is the key to staying healthy.

Staying healthy is hard, especially when sick people are all around in residence halls or class. Following these simple tips will increase your chances of staying healthy during the cold and flu season. Visit the SMU Student Health Center if you are worried about being sick.

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