No matter how lucky you feel as a person, there’s almost no safeguard when it comes to getting sick as the seasons change. And with all of the “I-have-to-go-to-class-no-matter-what” type of students, that chance quadruples every time you touch a door handle anywhere on campus.
So since it’s almost inevitable to buy your “sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep you ever got with a cold medicine” for the season, there are other measures you can take to make your recovery in reduced time.
First of all, understand that the first rule is admitting you have a problem. If you notice you’re coughing or have a slight sore throat, stop yourself in your tracks and buy some over-the-counter cold medication immediately. It’s not only to avoid infecting everyone else around you, but also to stop you from getting sicker as time goes by.
While there are many students in college who also have jobs and a list of extracurricular activities to put your average student to shame, you must put things on hold in order to get better. This means writing the uncomfortable e-mail to your professor and your likely irritated boss informing them of your illness and telling them you won’t be attending class or can’t work your shift regardless of if you have anyone to cover it or not.
And although you might feel like you’ll get a scolding response from either of the two, most professors are telling their students not to come to class if they are sick. With all of the looming cases of H1N1 flu viruses on campus and a lack of vaccines, no one wants to take chances of catching it.
So now that we know for sure you’re at home, keeping all of the icky germs in the comfort of your room, make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help break up the phlegm that causes that horrible feeling in your chest — congestion. According to WebMD, the No. 1 one cold remedy is to drink at least eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
While the intake of fluids such as water, sports drinks, herbal teas and ginger ale might do the trick, try to stay away from cola, coffee and other caffeinated drinks as these tend to act like diuretics and may dehydrate you.
Another helpful tip from our good friends at WebMD is to blow your nose in the proper way. Who would’ve thought you could ever fail when doing this age old trick to get snot out our noses? To ensure you’re doing this in its best form, WebMD suggests blowing your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head.
Additionally, when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.
You might also want to become a Vitamin C junkie. Although a recent survey showed getting extra Vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds, it does help shorten the time you suffer from one. According to WebMD, one large study found that people who took a Vitamin C mega-dose (8 grams) on the first day of a cold shortened the duration of their colds.
If oranges aren’t your forte, you can opt for guava, kiwi and strawberries, all of which are also high in Vitamin C.
Like most of us, Eastern Michigan University student Derek Ogletree deals with the blues of having a cold every fall semester, but never fails to act immediately when the signs of a cold creep up on him.
“As soon as I feel like I’m getting sick, I immediately reach for the orange juice and start drinking lots of water,” Ogletree, a post-baccalaureate student majoring in IT administration, said.
Although his colds usually only last 3-5 days, he has his common sense to thank for that, saying, “that’s only because as soon as I see symptoms, I take care of it as soon as possible.”
If you are currently suffering from a cold, hopefully you’re reading this at home with your tea and chicken noodle soup next to you. And to whoever wrote the PostSecret note on the third floor of Pray-Harrold admitting that they have the Swine flu — you don’t need to set foot on campus until you visit your doctor or the emergency room immediately.