If midterms didn’t screw up your life, then the flu will. The season is upon us when students will send emails to professors during Nyquil-induced hallucinations begging for both extensions and mercy. This seasonal bad boy will throw a college kid behind the work load and lead to more anxiety. The best way to combat this is to not get sick in the first place. Here are some ways to fend off the flu this season.
- Get a flu shot. For those of us who do not wear tin foil hats (or who are not allergic to eggs or flu shots), a flu shot can be a good way to stay healthy. The shot might give a low-grade fever afterward but it doesn’t last long. Students can get a shot at the Rite-Aid in Maddox Square (across from McDonald’s) or from the health center. The shots at Rite-Aid cost less than $30 and might be covered by insurance. Shots from the health center cost $20.
- Sanitize everything. It goes without saying but you need to wash your hands. Soap is pretty much everywhere so there is no reason that you shouldn’t already be doing this. Carrying around a small bottle of hand sanitizer might make you look like you have OCD, but it will help keep the germs off of you. Sanitizing wipes are also good to keep around because your roommate is probably disgusting and you should wipe things down.
- Don’t eat crap. Fruits and veggies give students all sorts of sexy vitamins. Getting a multivitamin is good but it’s better to get the real thing. Produce can be expensive but there are ways to get around it. Oranges are cheaper in the winter and easy to keep around a dorm room (just don’t fall into the trap of thinking that stuffing yourself with Vitamin C will make you sick-proof. Your colon will hate you for it). Frozen foods cost less than the produce aisle and can be just as good.
- Stress busters. Telling students not to get stressed out is almost insulting. This is the point in the semester when stress is pretty constant. What students can do is plan for stress busters. Take an hour, half-hour, however much time you can spare and do something that has nothing to do with school or work. Hang out with your friends (they miss you), play video games, watch a movie, play fetch with your cat, whatever. Giving yourself time to be happy will not only take a load off of your immune system but also help retain sanity.
Plan for sleep. This is another one that is against collegiate nature, but a lack of sleep will trash your body and mind, making you vulnerable to getting sick. Sleep in shamelessly on the weekends to get caught up. Take time for glorious naps. Put the homework down and just say, “Screw it, I’ll finish it in the morning” and go pass out.