11 Ways to Prevent Getting Sick on Campus

Germs spread like wildfire on campus. Becoming sick while at college seems practically inevitable considering you share facilities and the air that you breathe with thousands of students. However, here are some simple tips and tricks that you can implement into your daily routine to avoid catching a nasty bug.

1. Keep your hands clean

Little do you realize how often you touch your face with your hands every day or even think about all the places your hands have been throughout the day. Wash your hands with soap and hot water before each meal. Carry a mini hand sanitizer in your backpack after spending time in public places like the library, cafeterias, frequently-used classrooms or buses. This will help to keep germs from coming into contact with your nose and mouth.

2. Get a goodnight’s sleep

You’re more susceptible to illnesses if your body isn’t well rested. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off germs, especially since the body does a lot of self-repair while you sleep. According to Dr. Diwakar Balachandran, the head of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, “The more all-nighters you pull, the more likely you are to decrease your body’s ability to respond to colds or bacterial infections.”

3. Take in some fresh air

Being cooped up in places where fresh air isn’t circulating means that you’re breathing in a lot of germs. Take walks in between your classes or tackle your school work in Schenley Plaza. Open up your windows for a little bit each day. When the temperature begins to cool down, it’s important that you still make an effort to get some fresh air, even if it means a short ten minute walk or cracking open your windows for 15 minutes.

4. Fill your body with balanced meals, supplements and lots of water

All of the wonderful nutrients and vitamins in meals teeming with fruits, veggies and protein will help maintain your good health. Consider taking supplements like Emergen C or Airborne to boost your immune system when those around you are sick or you start feeling the early signs of a cold. And of course, stay hydrated!

5. Get your free flu shot

That’s right, it’s free! Stop by the Student Wellness Center any Friday of this month to receive your shot. Your body will thank you. Click here for details.

6. Keep your roommate’s germs at bay

Once you hear that dreaded cough from your roommate’s mouth, you’re practically sentenced to catching whatever they have in their system. However, you can put up a good fight! Stock up on Clorox wipes and disinfect your shared spaces, especially door knobs, cabinet handles and faucets.

7. Try a nasal rinse

Nasal rinses clear out any mucus, germs and bacteria that might be camping out in your nose and sinuses. It’s not the most pleasant process, but it will leave your nasal passages feeling open and clean.  You can pick one up at your local drugstore.

8. Exercise regularly

Your favorite exercise class is doing more than just keeping you fit. Routine exercise can strengthen your immune system, but remember that too much exercise can harm your body. If you like working out at the gym, always wipe down the machines and weights before you use them.

9. De-stress

Aside from stress being the absolute worst, it actually suppresses your immune system. If you feel your stress levels skyrocketing, remove yourself from the situation and clear your mind. Find a quiet place to relax or spend some time doing something you enjoy. Call a good friend from home to just have a chat.

10. Have a cup of tea

It turns out your daily tea fix is doing wonders for you! According to Dr. Murray Grossan, an ENT specialist, “Drinking the tea and breathing in steam stimulates the cilia—the hair follicles in the nose—to move out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins mucus, and honey is antibacterial.”

11. Clean your school supplies

Your laptop sits on several tables throughout the day that most likely won’t be cleaned until later that night. Your backpack lays on dirty floors during lectures. To reduce germ build up, try to clean your laptop every other night and take some time to wipe down your backpack once a week.  A little bit can go a long way.


Sources: 1, 2, 3

Photo Credits: Cover, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6