Easy ways to avoid catching the flu in college

Though the promise of Valentine’s Day and Spring Break may be warming our dispositions a bit, we can’t shy away from the fact that winter — and flu season — are long from over. In fact, Kelsey Davis, registered nurse at Central DuPage Hospital, says “the typical flu season begins in October and can go until the end of May.” Check out these simple ways to avoid getting sick during the rest of the flu season.

Ashley Koeing/Photographer Frequently washing your hands can be an easy way to avoid the flu this season.

Ashley Koeing/Photographer
Frequently washing your hands can be an easy way to avoid the flu this season.

1. Stop Makin’ Out!
If your sickly significant other or that sultry-yet-sniffly cutie at the bar glances your way ­­­­­— think about how unhappy you’re going to be if you’re stuck in bed with a fever and body aches for a week — and keep your hormones in check. It’s all fun and games ’til the flu bug gets involved. There will be plenty of sexy time once everyone is healthy again.

2. Get Vaccinated!
Do it sooner rather than later. Though it may feel like it’s too late in the season to get the flu shot, Davis said it is definitely “still worth it.” She also advised students to scoot on over to Student Health Services “ASAP because the shot takes two weeks to effectively protect you against the flu.” Luckily, as students, we can get the flu shot for free!

3. Sanitize!
Carrying little bottles of hand sanitizer could not be easier. Stick them in your coat pocket or your backpack, and pull them out anytime you touch a treacherous door handle or borrow a pencil from that germy-lookin’ kid in ENG 101. You can even buy attachments for your key ring to make sure you’ve got antibacterial gel around even when you’re getting in and out of your car. You don’t have to stop at hand sanitizers either. Grab some Clorox wipes and be sure to give the door handles and counter tops in your kitchen and bathroom a good scrub down every day.

4. Wash your Hands!
There’s no excuse for not giving your hands a little scrub-a-dub-dub after using the bathroom or spending time with friends. Davis says, “hand washing is the easiest way to prevent the flu outside of getting vaccinated.” Pick up some soaps with scents that remind you of spring and summertime to make the task a bit sweeter.

5. Take a Sick Day!
If you do come down with influenza, know that it’s OK to take a day or two off of school. First off, in order to get better, you need to baby your body for a while, and you can easily stay caught up on your homework while you’re snuggled in your bed, pumping fluids and resting up. You will feel better sooner, and you won’t risk spreading the virus to the rest of your classmates or professors.


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