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Staying Healthy

October 15, 2012   

As the leaves change and the rains come and the chilly winter winds begin to blow, it’s crucial for all students to take care of themselves for the sake of their schoolwork and their health.

If being healthy were a class, I would have failed out my first semester.

It’s not that Hamilton is a particularly germy, disease-ridden place – it’s a very clean campus, actually – but it is a small college. Dorms are perfect conductors of disease; people in close quarters, sharing bathrooms and breathing the same air. Throw that in with people like me, who have never had to deal with cold, wet weather before, and voila! – illness abounds.

Everybody gets sick on campus. It’s life at college, and nobody’s immune system is perfect. I just happen to get sick a lot. So, with the ever-present influence of my mother, I’ve developed some tricks to keep myself healthy this year. (Let’s hope it works, eh?)

1.  Flu shots are your friend. My entire life I’ve had a phobia of needles, and therefore avoided any unnecessary vaccinations. And that worked back in Texas, where our winter is mild and short and dry, and the only case of flu I can remember getting was Swine Flu. But I sucked it up last week and went to the flu shot clinic at the Med Center, and got both a vaccination against the disease that plagued me last year and a free Angry Birds Band-Aid.

2. Emergen-C tastes like watery, orange pop-rocks, but it’s worth the nasty aftertaste. I hate Emergen-C, but since I can’t trust myself to remember to drink real orange juice at breakfast, it’s best to make use of the lifetime supply my parents shipped to me last fall. Yes, I still have more than enough.

3. Daily exercise is something I should be doing anyway. But as an extra reminder, it’s good for you and keeps you healthy and fit and less likely to succumb to the flu. (However, do not exercise if already sick, because, as I learned last year, that makes you even sicker.  It’s also not very fun.)

4. Sleep is not something I get a lot of. But it should be. Because sleep is wonderful and keeps you healthy. I like sleep. Sleep is good.

5. Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear a rain jacket when it’s raining. Wear a coat when it’s cold. Don’t wear flip-flops; it’s October and this isn’t Texas. Socks are magical things – utilize them.

This shouldn’t be too hard, should it? Fingers crossed for a healthy, productive semester!