Student Life

6 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick in College

For college students, it isn’t all that hard to get sick.  When you’re sharing a room with at least 1 other person, you’re increasing your exposure to all kinds of illnesses.  In most cases, you also probably aren’t getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night, and you’re dealing with a bunch of stress. It’s the perfect equation for even the smallest cold to catch you.  This is why we’ve put together some suggestions to help you stay healthy even when that head cold or stomach bug hits your floor.

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Wash your hands as much as you can.  In one of our posts last week, we talked about some of the benefits of washing your hands over using hand sanitizer.  It’s especially important to keep your hands clean before and after eating, touching someone who is sick, and touching garbage.  It’s an especially good idea to wash your hands after returning home from class and other public places.

Get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night.  As we explained in our post last week, sleep is really important for college students.  One of the real problems for students, however, is that they never seem to get enough sleep, which can severely lower your immune system.

Don’t share glasses, water bottles, or utensils.  This is pretty self-explanatory, but simply taking a sip of someone else’s drink or tasting their food from a fork they’ve already used is one sure-fire way to ensure you get sick.

Stay away from friends who are sick.  Although it may seem a little mean, you don’t want to catch what they have.  Let them know that you don’t want to get sick, but you’ll hand out with them when their better.  It’s the best thing for both of you.

Eat well and stay hydrated.  The best way to boost your immune system is to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.  This will not only give you energy to stay alert, but it will also help your body to fight off illnesses.

Keep your place clean.  It’s a really a good idea to keep things clean anyway.  However, there are extra benefits to regularly cleaning your place.  By cleaning common areas, and washing dishes with hot soapy water, you can ensure you aren’t fostering a place for nasty bacteria to grow.

These are just some really quick and easy tips to staying healthy.  However, while it is important to prevent illness as much as possible, in some cases it may be unavoidable.  If you find yourself coming down with something, stay home and get some rest.  You’ll be both helping yourself, and helping everyone else from getting sick too.


“Avoid Getting Sick While Studying for Exams” by Lauren Busch

“Beyond College Immunizations:  How Students Can Avoid Getting Sick” by Angela Haupt



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