How To Stay Healthy At School

College is a wonderful place that provides many new experiences. But one experience I wasn’t prepared for when coming to Ohio University was being sick. Growing up, I didn’t get sick that often. Yes, the occasional flu and stuffy nose, but my first semester here really kicked my ass. I visited Hudson Health Center four times, switched dorm rooms, bought an expensive air purifier, and my medicine drawer could rival my mother’s cabinet. Sadly, I am still sick. I know I’m not the only one, so here are some tips on how to stay healthy in college.

Eating Habits

  • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast.

  • Snack during the day.

  • Exchange your can of Pringles for carrots.

  • Don’t eat mindlessly.

  • If you are going to watch Netflix, put out portions so you don’t eat an entire bag of chips.

  • Be smart about late night cravings. We all get them, so instead of ordering a pizza try to eat some more carrots. If you insist on ordering food, try to upgrade your meal to make better choices.

Sleeping Habits

  • Don’t make a habit of staying awake until 3:00 a.m., I know you have a 9:00 a.m. class tomorrow.

  • Make a schedule and stick to it.

  • Take SHORT naps. Naps are a great pick me up but don’t take a 3-hour nap that prevents you from falling asleep later that night.

  • College students are recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep.  

Wash your Hands

  • The dorm bathroom is far, but not as far as the doctor’s office.

  • Living in close quarters and being around sicks students all day means you are exposed to a lot of germs, constantly.

  • Wash your hands before you eat!

Don’t Smoke

  • I know no one wants to hear this but smoking is bad for you

  • That includes Juul, Vape, and Hookah.  

Flu Shot

  • Everyone has their own opinion on the benefits of a flu shot. Do your research and talk to your doctor to decide whether it is a good option for you.

  • Pro Tip: If your mother has been setting up your flu shot appointments, don’t forget to do that when the time comes.


  • Caffeine can be a good thing, but college students like to make a competition on the number of cups they can drink. There are also a lot of students who didn’t drink coffee before coming to college.

  • Be conscious of what and how much you are drinking. Maybe choose an iced latte instead of a frappucino. Maybe choose half-caff over two extra shots of espresso.

  • Maybe you are tired because you haven’t eaten in five hours. Have a sandwich instead of a cup of coffee.

BEWARE of the energy drinks and pre-workouts

I have seen a lot of students on campus casually drinking Bang. For two years I worked at a fitness facility and Bang was a pre-workout. Many energy drinks contain excess sugar and have equivalent amounts of caffeine compared to three or four cups of coffee. You don’t need that much caffeine. Pre-workout drinks can have creatine (Bang has this), BCAA’s, and other muscle-specific ingredients that you don’t need unless you are planning to workout.

Finally: Relax

College can be stressful. Working multiple jobs, large projects, and catching up on procrastination can cause major issues. Don’t let yourself get overworked, listen to your body and mind. Take the time to just sit and think about something besides school. Take that 3-hour nap if you think you need it. Please ask for help if you are struggling mentally. If you are too strung-out, don’t forget the basics of eating, sleeping, and exercising.