How to survive cold, flu season while in college

Katherine Daly, Staff Writer

It’s that dreaded time of year again. That’s right, flu season is upon us. Throughout the fall and winter, it’s really easy to get sick and that’s never fun, especially when you have to miss your classes and end up falling behind.

Illnesses spread quickly among college students as we are always around each other on campus, whether it be in class, our dorms or in the dining halls. However, many students may not realize how serious the flu actually is.

“The flu is different from a cold and includes a fever greater than 100.4,” said Robin Schafer, director of health services at Iona College.

However, there are plenty of precautionary measures you can take to keep yourself healthy during this cold and flu season.

Germs are part of our everyday lives, but they can easily put us at risk of getting sick. People frequently touch their eyes, nose and mouth without even realizing it, consequently spreading germs to everything they touch and making them more likely to get sick.

“It’s really a good idea to wash your hands,” sophomore Cheyanne Blakey said. “I do it all the time as it keeps the germs away.”

Cleanliness isn’t just related to your personal hygiene. Cleaning your dorm is important to kill germs too, especially if you have roommates.

“I clean all the time with Wet Ones,” sophomoreLaura Arroyo said. “It really clears everything up.”

Eating nutritious food and having a healthy lifestyle strengthens your immune system. With a healthier immune system, you will be better equipped to fight those nasty bugs. Take advantage of the healthy food options in the on-campus dining halls and the student workout facilities at the Hynes Gym to lessen your chances of catching a cold.

If you inevitably do get sick, you need to be prepared to take care of yourself. Stock up on supplies and be ready before it happens; if you do come down with a cold or the flu, you probably won’t be in the best condition for a trip to the store. You’ll want to have tissues, hand soap, hand sanitizer and cold medicine handy.

Schafer advises that you go to the Iona Wellness Center, whether it be for precautionary measures or upon having symptoms.

“We recommend flu vaccines, which are offered at health services for $15,” Schafer said. “Students with fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and pains should call health services for an appointment.”

Staying healthy can involve a lot of responsibility, but you’ll find that it’s worth it to avoid getting sick. Do your best to follow these tips and hopefully you won’t have to suffer through a cold or the flu this season.