Spooky Season or Flu Season? the Best Tips for Staying Healthy on Campus

It’s officially fall (someone tell the weather, please!), and with that comes pumpkin spice, scary movies, and…the flu. The flu can be one of the spookiest things about this season, especially on a crowded and busy college campus. It’s hard to focus on studying for midterms and enjoy all the fun fall festivities if you’re stuck in bed with a fever and a never-ending cough. Here are some tips to make sure you stay as healthy as possible.

1. Wash your hands everywhere you go and bring hand sanitizer with you to class. 

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With over 30,000 students enrolled at Florida State - sharing a much smaller number of classrooms, desks, study spaces, bathrooms, and even living spaces - germs can spread like wildfire and make you more likely to catch the flu. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you are washing your hands as much as you can, especially before and after you eat, and after touching something in a public area. If you don’t have immediate access to a sink, bring a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you in your backpack.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

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Our bodies are made up of 60% water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Drinking enough water is essential to keeping your body functioning normally. If you are running a fever (a main symptom of the flu), drinking water can help stabilize your body temperature. Take a cute water bottle with you to class, and keep it full. If drinking plain water is too boring for you, try adding fresh fruit like lemon or strawberries to make it easier to drink.

3. Keep your hands to yourself.

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If your love language is physical touch (like mine), this may be a hard one for you. Try to avoid any physical contact with someone who is showing signs of illness, since the flu is highly contagious. This is especially important with strangers because you have no idea what germs they are carrying, so be extra careful when going out or going to any campus events.

4. Get your flu shot!

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If you are a student at FSU, there is absolutely NO EXCUSES for you not to get your flu shot. University Health Services offers free flu shots with a student I.D. All you have to do is attend one of their many flu shot events over the next couple of months (listed here), or schedule an appointment by calling (850) 644-4567. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the flu.

5. If you're feeling sick, stay home. If you have to miss class, go to the doctor. 

Courtesy: FSU UHS

Following the above steps will significantly decrease your chances of getting the flu or getting sick in general. But, if you do start showing symptoms, stay home and get healthy. Illness will not go away if you ignore it, and you definitely don’t want to get anyone else sick. Missing class is not the end of the world; your health is much more important. Schedule an appointment with University Health Services (850-644-4567), and you can receive proper treatment and documentation to excuse your absences.

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