OPINION: A college girl’s guide to staying healthy

As someone with a weak immune system, I’m not sure if I’m overqualified or shouldn’t be discussing sickness at all.

This week I was struck with my third case of strep throat this school year. Yes, you heard me right — third time.

Prevention is the first step. If you can avoid getting sick all together it will make your life a whole lot easier.

Eating right, getting enough sleep and drinking water are going to be your best friends. Without mastering those three skills, chances are you’re going to get knocked down by the next bug that washes through campus.

Three meals a day is an important step. In order to take care of your body, you need to be giving it the nutrients it needs to keep you going.

I’m not going to get into specific serving sizes or items to eat because the truth is that not everyone is  the same. Some people need more food and some need less. You know what your body needs — don’t ignore it.

Along with eating right comes water. Dehydration is the worst way to go if you get sick. Not only will you be trying to hydrate from the sickness, but you also have to make up for all the water you haven’t been drinking.

You don’t need to go crazy with this, but at least try to remind yourself to drink water. I promise, beer and Starbucks are not going to make you feel better when you’ve got a fever and haven’t stopped coughing in four days. If you’re gonna be picking up a venti iced mocha anyway, you may as well add on a glass of water for free.

When it comes to sleep, you have to be slightly more give and take. In college, it’s hard to get your eight hours when you’re going to school and working. Just keep in mind that sleep is a necessity and you can’t avoid it with caffeine.

Vitamins can also be a great way to prevent illness. Keep in mind though that taking vitamins does not give you an excuse to not keep up with taking care of yourself in other ways.

A good multivitamin can change a lot, along with a little extra vitamin C. A lot of ailments can be helped, at their root, with vitamins.

I shouldn’t have to be telling grown adults this, but I’m not surprised I am: wash your hands. It is not that hard, it takes 30 seconds and it’s just common decency.

After you go to the bathroom please use some soap and water. Your immune system, and everyone else’s, will thank you. Remember, there are people out there who are more easily susceptible to germs, so do your part.

If you do happen to get sick, don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. It’s one thing to get sick, but it’s another entirely to do nothing about it. Take care of yourself, you’ve only got one body.

Most importantly, listen to your body. Most of the time it’s going to tell you that somethings wrong before you feel sick. It’s normal to get sick and can’t always be avoided so don’t take it out on yourself.If you need a doctor to visit, Student Health Services is available on campus. Their website has all the information you need to create a new patient profile and schedule an appointment.