allergies

Fighting the Freshman Flu

There are several universally accepted facts that apply to colleges all around the world. One that I recently experienced is the unfortunate truth that college dorms are huge breeding grounds for sicknesses. Whether it’s the dirty slob down the hall, or the fact that everyone is cramped into the same tiny space using the same showers, SOMETHING about college dorms spreads illnesses like wildfire.

…not that kind of sick. Last year, my dorm hall was a very old, tiny building meant only for freshmen. Normally, I have a pretty good immune system. However, last year, I was forced to recover from two sinus infections, one case of strep throat, and about seven colds. The problem that I encountered was that if one person on the floor came down with some form of sickness, everyone else was soon to follow. Over the course of the year, I learned a few things to help stave off the impending illnesses of college.

Eat Healthy.
Almost every single day, the dining hall will serve some form of greasy, meaty, occasionally delicious food. I soon learned that if I also made myself a salad, or ate a piece of fruit with each meal, I started feeling better as a whole. Your immune system is programmed to fight off bugs, but if you don’t supply it with the necessary vitamins than it will not function properly.

Good Habbits.
My university’s health services has medicines ready at all times to treat students with sinus infections, as they apparently are a very common occurrence here. The problem is that dorms, especially smaller ones, don’t have very good air circulation. So as the year goes on, dust accumulates in corners and crevices, and it tends to stay around. A great way to keep your sinuses clean and healthy is to start using saline spray. It’s cheap, you can get them anywhere, and they mostly only consist of salt and water. Using a saline spray once a day, or once every other day, cleans out sinuses and keeps them open.

Drink Water.
You’d be amazed by all the positive effects of drinking several cups of water daily. It helps keep you hydrated and it can also help flush out unwanted illnesses. Your body needs it to function, so don’t forget to stay hydrated.

Clean.
For the love of all that is holy, take out the trash.

Hopefully you’ll take some of this advice to heart, and do yourself a favor when the next semester starts up. School is hard enough without the added difficulty of fighting off a cold or the flu. Do you have any health tips I forgot?