Every time I’m sitting in class and the person next to me coughs or sneezes, I feel a sense of panic, hoping that I don’t catch those germs that are now traveling through the air in those tiny, congested classrooms. There are a few things that you can do to avoid catching a cold from someone else.
To start, avoid those who are obviously sick. I’m not saying go around ignoring people but don’t be afraid to take a few extra precautions or speak up. If you’re going to take your seat in class, avoid sitting next to the person whose nose is running all over the desk. Also, be very vocal about what you’re uncomfortable with. If someone is too close and they clearly have a cold, don’t hesitate to politely ask them to separate themselves a bit. We all have that friend that always wants a sip of this or a bite of that. Make it clear that you’re not comfortable sharing food or beverages while they’re sick. Also, you should not let sick friends use your cell phone. This is something that is constantly by your hands and mouth, and is a good way to transport germs and get sick. If you feel weird bluntly saying no, make something up and say you have no service or you’re trying to reserve your battery.
As a college student, life can be crazy and you may not have a daily routine as to how you go about things. Areas like eating and sleeping healthy get neglected. However, in order to avoid getting sick, you should make sure that you eat healthy and get plenty of sleep. Your body needs certain vitamins and nutrients to maintain a strong immune system. If you feel as though you’re not getting what your body needs, you can always consider taking a multivitamin. Also, be sure to drink water…tons of water! Your body works hard all day long, every day and needs its fair share of rest. A healthy sleep is equivalent to about eight hours. This may seem impossible to obtain by some, but maybe this is where you should work on your time management or organizational skills. Create a routine for yourself so you can get everything done in a day, and make your sleeping quota.
Dress appropriately for the weather! I think it’s safe to say that sandal and shorts season is over. If it’s cold outside, you should wear long sleeves, pants, coats, scarves, and closed toe shoes. Some people take longer saying goodbye to summer, but don’t let that be the reason you’re now sick and up late at night trying to study for a midterm with a stuffy nose and sore ribs from coughing.
The most important thing to be conscientious of is washing your hands. Keep your hands clean, keep your hands away from your face, and wash your hands constantly with soap. Germs love your hands.
Avoiding a cold that everyone seems to be getting can feel like a second job. You can’t put yourself in a plastic bubble and go to class, but you can take tiny steps to lower your chances of catching something. Rachel Ipsen-Riegger, a freshman political science and criminal justice major said, “I wear a scarf, eat healthy foods and I avoid people who are sick.” Riegger does these three things to lower her risk of getting sick.
Dana Goodman, a junior early childhood education major, named three things that she and other students should carry with them to prevent themselves from catching a cold: “Airborne, Purelle and tissues. You should get Puffs specifically. You have to get the lotion ones, they feel good on your nose.”