Freshman Five: How to Avoid Getting Sick

I know we all love those days when we lay back in bed with Netflix and hot soup, but not when we're feeling awful! I'll admit that sometimes when class gets cancelled I do a happy dance (depending on which class it is, of course). But missing class is not fun when you're stuck in your dorm with an unsettling stomach and a quickly growing mountain of tissues.

The word is out: Everybody's sick! Getting sick in high school was very different from getting sick in college - you're on your own and sadly, Mom isn't there to stay home, make soup, and watch movies with you. I'll be doing a post later on about what to do if you are sick, but first, let's work on prevention, shall we?


Wash. Your. Hands. // This is kind of a biggie. I know it's simple. I know Mom and Dad have taught you this since you could understand what the sink was. But seriously, wash your hands! This is considered one of the TOP reasons people get sick! I especially recommend you wash your hands before you eat - you may say "I know where my hands have been" but you really don't know what was on all of the things you've touched throughout the day. Do yourself a favor and just take the time (sing the ABCs twice while rubbing the soap in!) to wash your hands. Better safe than sorry, right?

Hand Sanitizer // I have a full-size hand sanitizer at my desk, and mini ones in my backpack and in my *multiple* purses. If you really can't wash your hands (i.e. after pushing the elevator button or using the pen attached to the cashier counter), then at least use some hand sanitizer. An alternative is using hand wipes! You can get a travel pack at the store for pretty cheap and they're flat so they fit into tight places in purses and backpacks. Honestly, some sort of quickie sanitation is a nice thing to have because life can get crazy and you never know what can happen!

Eat Often, Eat Right // Have you ever skipped a meal because there's too much to do and not enough time? *Guilty.* Skipping meals in addition to eating not-so-healthy meals when you do eat is awful for your body! How is it going to fight off the bacteria and viruses? Not eating weakens your body and causes it to be more vulnerable, making getting better (when you do get sick) that much harder. Make sure you eat healthily, and if you're not getting your vitamins then maybe you should consider taking supplements!

Go Exercise, Or Outside For a Walk // Going to the gym is hard, but you don't have to go to the gym for a little exercise. When you have a jam-packed study day, schedule in a break or two and spend them walking around outside. It sounds scary, but I promise you'll be fine. Walking and soaking in the sunshine is not only healthy (hello, Vitamin D!), but it will also help you relax and have a clear mind when you go back to studying.

Stay Up-to-Date // IHateShots. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. BUT you kind of need them. You're actually not allowed to attend some (most? I'm not wholly sure) public universities without being up-to-date on your shots. When you're in college, you're absolutely surrounded by so many people that the risk of getting sick is really high. Going to the doctor is a hassle, but it's a lot less of a hassle than missing a test or falling behind in class! Some universities even offer quick on-campus vaccinations during flu season, check to see if your health center or a nearby pharmacy offer them!

BONUS TIP: SLEEP. // Lots of us love sleep. I know I love sleep! Sleep is super-duper-├╝ber important. According to some studies, a good night's sleep the night before a big test is more beneficial and helps you out a lot more than cramming and pulling an over-nighter. But, keep in mind this applies to regular nights, too! (Going out on a weeknight sounds adventurous, but it's not as fun to think about when you're late to class and forgot about the exam the next morning!) When you're not well-rested, not only is it impossible to concentrate in class, but your body is tired and under more stress.

Hope these tips help! Stay healthy and have fun!

Catch you next time.


  1. Great tips! Between mono, a chronic illness, and tonsilitis, I spent my entire freshman year as sick as a dog. Hopefully these tips will help others to stay healthy :)

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

    1. Aww, I'm sorry you had to go through all of that! I hope so, too!

  2. These are great tips! I definitely had to learn this the hard way my freshman year!

    Emily | Emily & Dot


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