Hey Baby Knights!
So I know you're in planning overload stage, but I wanted to write about something that's kind of hard to plan for, but usually preventable. One of the worst things about being at college is being sick at college and missing your mom and your couch more than anything. This year I managed to stay abnormally healthy, but I watched a few friends suffer through the flu, strep, stomach bugs, and colds. Being sick away from home is never fun, but what's even worse is paying for classes that you have to miss. Plus tissues are expensive. The main point is to avoid getting sick, so here are some tips to stay healthy:
1. The most important thing to maintain a healthy immune system is GET SOME SLEEP. I had a major issue adjusting to the college sleep schedule (mainly because I decided it was more productive to clean and get ahead on homework instead of sleeping... maybe I'll blog about this later) and trust me, if you're not sleeping you will feel like absolute POOH.
2. Keep a pump-bottle of hand sanitizer near your door to use whenever you come home. Keeping the germs out is important. You can also bring a travel size for Alliot, or use the sanitizer-stands provided near the door.
3. CLEAN YOUR ROOM. Pick up laundry, throw away trash, do your dishes. Letting trash and grime build up on your surfaces is nasty, visually and bacterially (yes this is a word. I'm an English major and I can make them up).
4. The Res-Life staff might yell at me for this one, but... open your windows every once and a while. Dorm rooms can get really stuffy, and circulating fresh air is important. You need to be careful about this in the winter, because if you leave your windows open, the PIPES WILL FREEZE (it happened last winter and did major damage in Founders). Last year I tried to open my window a little for an hour or so while I was in the room to make sure it didn't get too cold. If you're worried about forgetting to shut your window, leave the door open and angle your fan so that it will blow in fresh air in from the hall.
5. VITAMINS! As a vegetarian, I'm a big fan of my vitamins. I take Vitamin C, Calcium with Vitamin D, and Iron (I can't take a multivitamin because they make me sick). Taking your Vitamin C is important, even if you drink orange juice because most of that stuff in Alliot is from concentrate and mainly water.
6. Speaking of Alliot, eating healthy is SO important. I'm really bad about remembering my veggies, even as a vegetarian, so it's good to make a rule for yourself like "eat one salad a day at lunch or dinner" or "grab a banana in the morning to eat during class" (I follow both). Before I went to college, I NEVER ate a banana- the texture grossed me out- but now I eat them almost every day. My friend Derek would also want me to add here that eating yogurts with ACTIVE LIVE CULTURES is really good as well, something like Stoneyfield, or a greek yogurt (YUM).
7. Wash your hands! The dorm bathrooms DO NOT provide soap, but most RAs will collect money to buy a community soap bottle. We do have alcohol sanitizer, but don't settle for that. Keep on your RA's butt about replacing it, or bring your own- the huge refill bottles at Walmart are really cheap. Some RAs will also provide a hand towel, but I recommend avoiding this. Usually I brought my own towel to the bathroom or waited until I went back in my room.
8. Don't be a make-out monster. Yes, kissing is lovely, but do you know how many mouths that mouth has been on this week? Oral hygiene is an entire blog post in itself, but the basics are: Take care of cold sores, use a good lip balm for chapped lips, BRUSH YOUR TEETH, and don't kiss everything with a tongue. On a similar note, DON'T SHARE CUPS, BOTTLES, FLASKS, CANS, GLASSES, OR STRAWS. Do I need to say more? Please refer to Health Services for more questions, located in the basement of Alumni.
9. Change your sheets, especially your pillowcases, regularly. Beds can get really nasty, especially when they also serve as couch for your friends. Getting sleep is important, but so is having a germ-free bed.
10. Finally, some basic supplies to keep around: I recommend a can of LYSOL (spray everything down when you move in, before you start setting up), a household surface CLEANER like Windex (I used mine to clean my mirror as well as wiping down my desk and bureau), and an air-disinfecting spray. As far as medical supplies, in addition to vitamins and hand sanitizer, I kept a bottle of Aleve or Ibuprofen. I also have friends who swear by Emergen-C. Another really important item is SHOWER SHOES. Last year I remember hearing that a bunch of girls had gotten some kind of un-mentionable fungi and... ugh, just wear shower shoes, okay?
I hope this helped remind you of anything you may have forgotten! Maintaining sanitary habits means that you are less likely to miss class, and make your mom cry because she can't take care of you.