7 Tips to Avoid Winter Illness

By Francine Fluetsch on February 16, 2017
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This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

Whether you love the winter season or hate it, we can all agree that the annoying part about the cold weather is that it brings about, well, colds!

Getting sick is not the business you want to be in, especially when you have a full class load, tons of homework, work, and social events to cram into your schedule. Once one person in a lecture hall starts sneezing, it’s not long before it’s a snowball effect and everyone is sniffling and getting the flu, so here are some tips to help you avoid getting sick this winter season!

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1. Be prepared

Upon the first sign of a sickness near you — which will usually be seen in class — make sure to take some vitamin C, or my personal savior, Airborne. This way, even if you don’t personally feel any symptoms yet, you will be beefing up your immune system to help prevent any stray, pesky germs from entering your system.

Even if you feel a slight onset of a cold, you can usually prevent it from going full force by taking vitamin C religiously, and some flu medicine that will help you sleep through the night.

2. Be extra cautious in shared spaces

As college students, we are around other people all the time: sharing desks, notebooks, study spaces, and even sleeping spaces. When the flu season hits, you want to be extra careful, especially in these shared spaces. Make sure to always wash your hands after being in a shared space, and maybe even go so far as to bring some Clorox wipes to class with you so you can wipe off the desk before using it. Just think how many students have sat there before you, sneezing on it and who knows what else (*shivers*).

Washing your hands is critical before you eat. Even after buying something at the school café or downtown with your friends, make sure to wash your hands before enjoying your meal. I know it seems obvious, but this is a huge preventer in the spreading of germs and picking up of random germs that you don’t want in your system.

3. Get some sleep

When the sicknesses are roaming about, you want to make sure that you are treating your body well so it won’t have a weak immune system that will be susceptible to the sicknesses floating around it. Lack of sleep is a big contributor to students getting head colds and fevers, so make sure that you are getting enough sleep to keep yourself healthy.

4. Eat right

This goes along with the last point since you need to keep your body well nourished to stay healthy. Eat your greens and fruits to get natural vitamins flooding through your system to ensure that your immune system stays in tip-top shape. Even though it’s hard, try and stay away from greasy foods and sweets, just for a little while. Those foods can slow you down, and you don’t want your body to let its guard down when you need it to be on red alert.

5. Don’t be sharing things

They say sharing is caring, which it usually is, but this rule doesn’t apply when there are sicknesses going around. My whole hall freshman year would get sick at the same time because they would all share drinks with one another, and not really think about the massive amounts of germs that would be flowing from each of their mouths.

When people are getting sick around you, make sure you say no if someone wants a sip of your Starbucks, or a bite of your cake, or wants to take a nap in your room. You want as little human contact with random people as possible to keep yourself healthy.

6. Tell sick people to stay home

We all have those friends who are determined to go to class, despite how sick they are, and we can commend them for their determination, but telling them to stay home will benefit everyone around them. Unless they are willing to wear a mask to class, you should encourage your sick friends to stay home and offer to take notes for them. If they have the sniffles, it’s okay to go to class, of course, but if they know they have something more severe, it’s not very nice of them to come and risk getting other people sick around them.

7. Hot liquids are golden

The body absorbs hot liquids much better than it does cold, so make sure you are getting your liquids in hot in whatever ways you can. If you like tea, this is a great way to stay healthy without having to take a lot of medication every day. Soups can also be a lifesaver, even if you don’t feel the full wrath of a cold just yet.

These are just a few ideas to help keep you healthy because being a sick college student is the worst. Stay healthy out there!!

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

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Hi! I'm Francine and I'm a fourth year Creative Writing major at UC Santa Cruz. I am one of the Campus life columnists on Uloop's National Team and also the campus editor for UCSC. I enjoy reading, writing, and taking selfies with my cat.

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