Now that I have survived the first week of classes I can say that there is one thing I have noticed about a good portion of my classmates: You’re all sick! I’ve talked to so many people who have come back to school only to end up with a cold or worse.
I myself caught strep throat this week, although I have no idea how. It’s understandable to a point, since living in close quarters with new people means there is going to be some exchange of germs. But at a challenging institution like this, who has time to be sick?
Even if you are not the most involved person on campus, you still won’t have the energy or the time to deal with an illness and classes. And as a person who has three graduate seminars, an internship and three clubs to juggle, I certainly didn’t need any setbacks this week. So what can we do to keep the plague at bay? Well, to start with, get some sleep.
I know, a real hardship for college students … sleep. But that is one of the most important things to keep up on even when your schedule (and reading list) get to be overwhelming. You may even have to forgo a thirsty Thursday in favor of a nap, but I promise it’s worth it.
The next step on the way to a healthy semester is keeping an eye on your diet. I don’t mean that you should be eating healthy every moment of the day. Let’s be real, who does that? But if you are anything like me, it’s not hard to skip a meal (or five) during the week when classes, clubs and friends start demanding your time and attention.
So my advice is simple. Remember to eat. Throw a snack in your bag the night before so you never end up in a morning class starving with a loud stomach demanding payment for your busy, calorie-burning life.
Now, I don’t like to dole out advice that I have no intention of trying myself, so take this next bit with a grain of salt. Exercise. I know, not fun for everyone and definitely not something that I love to do all the time.
That being said, there are tons of ways to exercise that aren’t completely boring or completely exhausting. My personal favorite is yoga or, if I am feeling ambitious, Zumba — both of which are offered in the East Gym on campus almost every day. If group exercise isn’t your thing, then maybe Wii Fit would be more your speed. Doing some “Just Dance” with your roommates totally counts.
The last thing that I would suggest in order to stay healthy is to have fun. Stress can make you sick faster than any virus, so take it easy and remember that although classes and coursework are important, there is nothing in life more important than your happiness. That doesn’t mean you get to quit every class that you don’t like, but don’t sweat the small stuff either. Take breaks, play games and make a point to schedule in some free time.
Do all this and you might just get through this semester without getting sick. No promises, of course — with all these sickies around you might still catch something. But let’s hope not.