I feel a college is best compared to a small town or community. Freshmen, who usually live on campus, are especially in the middle of it all. But when existing in such close quarters like the dorms, illnesses and diseases can and do spread rapidly. Being sick in high school might have even been a treat because it meant one less day of sitting in class for 6 hours. In college, missing a day or two of classes is much more crippling now that “in-class” time is reduced to 3 hours or less a week per class. And don’t rely on professors to always catch you up. They generally know exactly who misses class! I also know from personal experience that they will not help slacking students with poor attendance! So it’s best to avoid missing important class time and make staying healthy one of your main priorities.
Never forget the simple things. Always wash your hands, don’t drink after other people, and remember to cough/sneeze into tissues. These should go without saying, yet it doesn’t happen as often as you would expect. Come on, you know it’s true; we all have left the bathroom without washing our hands at some point in time. Well, living on a school campus with hundreds of students around at all times makes this a bigger deal than you would think. It’s inevitable that we touch things that others have touched. Think about the day to day objects that we use which do not get cleaned regularly. For example: lecture hall desks, door knobs, chairs, and keyboards.
The dorms can also become cesspools without some basic care and cleaning. Staff members don’t clean up dorm rooms, so if students don’t clean, they can get pretty gross fast! Another major place for germs to congregate is the gym. No one wants to touch gym equipment that is sweaty, sticky, and gross. All gyms have sanitizing cleaner and towel stations. Use these to clean the equipment after each use so the next person stays out of your sweat residue. My point being that practicing simple habits, like washing your hands or cleaning up after yourself, on a regular basis can make the world of a difference and can help keep you and others germ free.
Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid getting sick, and most universities have planned for this. Universities offer student healthcare services in which a student can make an appointment for anything from prescription refills to broken bones. With today’s modern technology, schools make it simple to make appointments online or with smartphone compatibility. These centers are great for on-the-go students who don’t have time to go to a family physician or find a new doctor around town.
Some colleges have a pharmacy as well as physicians. Here students are able to find all the necessities found at retail drug stores as well as prescription drugs. Also, it is a really good idea to schedule regular check-ups and stay up-to-date on vaccinations, especially the flu vaccine, to be proactive in the fight against germs and viruses. I’ve been at East Carolina for 3 years now and have not been through a winter without a flu epidemic. When I say this, I don’t mean anything life threatening, just that there is a time of year when everyone I know seems to get sick with the flu. So don’t come in with the “it won’t happen to me” attitude and do what you can to prevent yourself from getting sick.