When you apply for colleges and start getting ready to move out of the room you’ve lived in since you were little, the last thing on your mind is being sick away from home. Honestly, you’re far more nervous about how you’ll transition or deal with separation or time management or even just classes. To tell you the truth, one of the most difficult things about your first semester is that you’re probably going to get sick. A lot.
Getting sick is the inescapable truth of college. You’re going to be living with 40 other people, who interact with easily 100 people a piece each day, who then come back do your dorm sweet dorm. Once one of your hall-mates catches something, you’ve got a good chance of catching it from them.
I spent my first month of college cycling through every illness imaginable – I seemed to catch everything everyone on the hall picked up. Amazingly enough, my roommate somehow managed to live with me, take care of me and not pick up any of the illnesses. So, here’s a list of things to do to prevent getting sick and to do if you do become sick.
- This one is obvious, but wash your hands. Wash them before you eat, before you touch your face, before anything. If you’re by a sink, wash them. You’re sharing a campus with 5,000 people and therefore you’re sharing all of their germs.
- Actually take your vitamins. Find a great multi-vitamin (just have your parents send you some) and take it every day. Make it a part of your morning or evening routine.
- Sleep. Please, please sleep. Not only is this going to help you in practically every area of your life – academics, social interactions, etc. – but it will keep you from getting sick or becoming even sicker than you already are.
- If your roommate is sick, do what mine did – walk to a nearby store and buy some sort of germ-fighting spray and take the time every day to wipe down the surfaces of your room. It’s a simple, five-minute chore that truly helps you from catching what even the person in your own room has.
- Tell your teachers. Get a feel for whether or not what is happening in class during the week would be dire to miss, and gauge how they feel about you missing a class or two. Sometimes the best idea is to not push it.
- If your teacher’s response to number 5 is positive, get ahead on homework. Read the online materials posted for the class you missed, take notes, start working away at projects and essays and knock out any homework that you have the ability to do. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
- Finally, eat a lot of soup. I’m a vegetarian, so unfortunately this doesn’t apply to me, but Regattas has chicken noodle soup at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take advantage of this, and feel blessed that you have this option. It’s the ultimate sick-food, right?
- Tis’ the season for the flu, so remember there’s always the option to get your flu shot! You can usually get this for free, so if you’re not opposed to it, go get it before the flu gets you.
Have a great week, and stay healthy!