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Back to School: Taking Care of Your Health

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at URI chapter.

College and high schools across the country are starting up again, which means there is no better time to take your health into account!


Dealing with the Common Cold

It is known that around this time of year, the common cold starts to appear. These upper respiratory issues are easily spread around from person to person, especially in the dormitory and classroom settings. All it takes is one sick student to infect an entire class.

It may start with a slight tickle in your throat or a stuffy nose, but eventually, your immune system will produce a greater response. You will start to receive headaches, body aches, chills, and even a fever. Over the course of one year, people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds. These are easily attainable through touching your eyes or nose after you touch surfaces infected with germs or through inhaling germs. The symptoms begin two to three days after infection and may last 2 to 14 days.

Some preventable measures you can take are washing your hands, keeping your hands away from your nose and mouth to avoid the virus entering your body, and staying away from people with colds. These measures will make sure that you are able to attend class, so you don’t end up falling behind.

In reality, there is no cure. But here are some treatments that will help your cold go away faster on its own…

  • Sleep (getting plenty of rest is so important for your body to heal)
  • Drinking fluids
  • Gargling warm saltwater
  • Using cough drops and throat sprays
  • Taking over-the-counter pain or cold medication



Dodging Pink Eye

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When the small blood vessels in the transparent membrane become inflamed, they are more visible. This causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink. The common effects are pain, discomfort, itching, swelling, and the pinkness in and around the eye. This is a highly contagious infection that is common in an environment filled with students.

To avoid Pink Eye, avoid sharing make-up, glasses, towels, and anything that can easily transfer bacteria. Remember to regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds to kill germs. If you do obtain Pink Eye, it is recommended that you stay home to avoid spreading the bacterial infection. Your school’s health services or any local urgent care clinic should be experienced at treating Pink Eye, along with its irritations. After using antibiotic eye drops for 36 hours, it should be okay to return to school.

There are different types of Conjunctivitis, such as Allergic Conjunctivitis and Viral Conjunctivitis. Allergic Conjunctivitis is seasonal and is not contagious, while Viral Conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotics. Normally, the infection usually clears up within one week, but if you are still experiencing symptoms of Pink Eye, make sure to schedule an appointment ASAP to receive a diagnosis and a treatment plan.


These are just some aspects of your health you should look out for since schools are starting up and your environment is changing. Always take care of your body and treat it kindly. Maintain hygiene to keep these issues from arising and ruining your school year!

Amanda Lin is from Seattle, WA and is a Doctor of Pharmacy major at the University of Rhode Island! She is passionate about health, fashion, and food. Check out her webpage (amandanlin.com), and connect with her through Instagram at @amandanlin and @nomnomwithalin!