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Student living in college may be one of the most communal living spaces you ever live in. Dorm buildings, Greek houses, or student apartment buildings; there are people everywhere, and that means there are germs everywhere. You may notice that once people move in and campus gets busy with classes starting, clubs meeting, Greek events happening, or football games taking up the weekend... everyone gets sick. 

Here’s some of my suggestions for what to do before, during, and after you get sick. 

 

Before you find yourself sick: 

Exercise regularly. Part of staying physically healthy is staying physically active! Working out isn’t one size fits all, but for the average person doing about 30 minutes of exercise everyday is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. 

Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Not only will plenty of water and nutrients from healthy foods help you prevent sickness, but it will make you feel better on a daily basis. 

Take vitamins. Look into a multivitamin to take every day, and occasionally take some extra vitamin C! When I hear about others getting sick I like to take some Emergen-C just to be safe! 

Don’t party too hard. Drinking alcohol past your personal limit will be dehydrating, and you’ll be giving your body more work to do and less ability to fight against potential illnesses coming your way! 

 

Fighting the cold: 

Take some time to rest, and sleep. Make sure you nap, lay down, and don’t take on extra commitments when you’re sick. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting worse or at least not getting better. 

Drink warm fluids. Hot tea is a good option, chicken noodle soup is a classic. WebMD says that “research shows that the heat can also ease cold symptoms such as sore throat and fatigue. Try sipping non-caffeinated herbal tea, lemon water, or warm broth.”

Try aromatherapy! Lavender, lemon, cedar, rosemary, and mint essential oils can be added to steam or an essential oil diffuser to aid with congestion and help soothe cold symptoms. 

Wash your hands so you don’t get others sick! 

 

Now that you're healthy: 

Make sure you wash your hands so you don’t get others sick! 

Get a flu shot if you’d like. They’re free with insurance at most clinics, including Oregon State University’s student health center, Plageman Student Health Center. Without your student ID and insurance, there is a $35 fee. 

Practice healthy behaviors like exercising regularly, staying hydrated and eating healthy, taking vitamins, and taking care of all aspects of your health including mental and emotional health! Have a healthy term!

 

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