Today shorts, tomorrow thermals. It is that time again where the weather is changing and the campus is passing around that dreadful spring fever. Students often make the simplest of mistakes when it comes to keeping themselves healthy and in the clear of the bug that usually is passed around. Face the facts, mother nature can never make her mind up in Frostburg. However, here are multiple ways students can avoid spending more time in Brady Health Center, than in the classroom.
For starters, wash your hands. Living, eating, drinking and studying together, germs spread so fast on a college campus. Students can catch colds, the flu, get a sore throat, and more by touching their mouth, nose, and eyes with dirty hands.
To make it harder for germs to get you sick, keep your hands clean. In places or situations where it is likely to become especially vulnerable to germs, like computer labs or gyms, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer on your person. It will only take a second to apply, and could save a student a few days of feeling sick.
Second, sampling the entire cafeteria buffet doesn’t help. The café clearly has little resemblance to good home cooking, but eating unlimited pizza with a side of ice cream isn’t the smartest choice for an immune system or stomach. At home, your mother does not fix pizza every night for a reason. Students need to eat balanced meals. Not to mention, the “freshman 15” gets a lot of negative attention from students entering college, but eating healthy is just as important of an issue for the upperclassman.
Aside from all the negative health effects of being overweight, a poor diet can make you very sick. Eating healthy ensures that your body is getting all the appropriate nutrients and vitamins to function properly. When your body has the nutrition needed, you’re less likely to get sick and will have more of energy. In the long run, a healthy diet could also lessen your chances of obtaining illnesses like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.
Third, “All-nighters” are not the way to go. Even though it may seem that only way to finish a research paper and study for that exam is by pulling an all-nighter, it will do more harm than good to skip a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep increases risk of depression, impairs concentration, slows reaction timing, and causes careless errors in the day.
It is possible to improve sleeping habits by keeping a regular bedtime and waking schedule.
Fourth, as hard as it is, don’t stress yourself out. Schedules are packed, papers due tomorrow, test next week, work every day, it’s okay. When the body is stressed it creates room to be more indecisive, impairs the ability to concentrate, and easily exhausts the body. There is no way to avoid stress, but there are healthy ways to cope with it.
Take a break; it’s okay. Take a deep breath and relax. Exercise tends to relieve stress; go for a walk or join an intramural team. Exercise, make a to-do list and complete the items on it by priority. Not getting to the others until the next day will be fine. Be realistic in expectations and become apart of your own support system. Let your friends and family help you when life is too overwhelming.
Finally, avoid risky behavior. Excessive drinking, drug use, and irresponsible relationships are common issues on college campuses.
Wash your hands, eat a balanced meal, don’t pull all-nighters, don’t stress out, and avoid risky behavior. Sounds easy, right? It’s not and that is okay. Staying healthy as a student takes effort, but can be done.