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Opinion

Have a fighting chance against getting sick this flu season with these tips

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October 21, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Yep, you guessed it, cold season. Take a walk around campus and you will most certainly hear a few coughs, sniffles and sneezes in the general area you are passing. It’s now fall and the temperature is dropping. This means the common cold is now making its way to individuals.

Unfortunately, I now have become one of those coldinfested people. Let me tell you, it’s rather distracting when you are trying to sit in class and you go into a coughing fit. Thank goodness for cough drops, water and the recommended Vitamin C. I am actually a huge fan of hot tea with honey when I have a sore throat or a cough. But whatever method you use to relieve cold symptoms, if it works for you, keep it up.

When I have a cold and I am in class I often feel guilty for coughing or sneezing while I am around other students. Some may find it disgusting; but honestly, people who have been given the common cold can’t help it if they cough or sneeze. In my opinion, as long as they are respectful by covering their mouths and noses to try and prevent their germs from spreading, then I’m not going to make a big deal about it.

I’m an avid hand sanitizer user and although that isn’t always a good thing, I find it extremely necessary when I am feeling under the weather or when I’m around others that are. That may be the “germophobe” in me that insists on being overly cautious; but in my opinion, I’d rather be overly cautious than under. Wash your hands frequently and keep them out of your mouth or other areas in which it’s easy for germs to enter your body. It’s very easy for people to touch a door handle or hand railing and forget to wash their hands before eating or rubbing their eyes.

Getting plenty of rest is also important when you want to feel top-notch. Getting poor sleep will just make your immune system weak. Therefore, you are more susceptible to catching viruses and other illnesses. I try to get around eight hours of sleep a night, but as a college student, that isn’t always easy to do. Sometimes you get caught up studying or hanging out with friends and before you know it, it’s midnight or one in the morning.

Be sure to keep yourself hydrated as well. Drink plenty of water, juice or other hydrating beverages, such as Gatorade. It’s recommended by doctors to drink about eight glasses of water a day, which can be hard to remember. However, when you go to the cafeteria to eat, just try to drink other beverages besides pop. Or when you are headed to classes or other events just carry a water bottle with you so that you can refill it when you pass by drinking fountains.

Being sick is never fun but; if you take precautions and take care of yourself while you are feeling under the weather, it could make your illness less severe or make it so your cold doesn’t last as long. I hope all the common cold and other illness catchers get well soon.

Samantha Mayberry is a junior and is majoring in journalism. She is from Rochester, Minn., and loves to read, listen to music and take pictures.