As I write this, I feel like crap. My head feels like there is a table clamp squeezing it, my cough makes me sound like I’m dying of consumption, and my nose is simultaneously constantly running, yet so stuffed up I cannot breathe. I. Am. So. Sick. And I realized that while at college, there is no one to take care of you when you feel awful. Sure, there is Health Services, but they can’t really do much for the common cold or flu. Being sick alone sucks, especially if you have a million things to do! So, here are some tips to just avoid it happening altogether:
1. Drink water. Lots of water.
I’m sure you have heard this before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you follow it. I’ll admit that I am horrible when it comes to this. I know I should be drinking about two liters (68 ounces) every day, but I definitely am not drinking the equivalent of four Poland Spring water bottles every day (yeah four). I suggest carrying around a water bottle that way water is always on hand, and it will result in you drinking more casually, not just when you are parched. For example, if you fill a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle before you leave for class and refill it in the afternoon then you will have had about two liters/ 64 ounces! Success!!
2. Fruit juice: it’s like water but more exciting
Even more healthy than water is fruit juice! I mean water is still necessary on its own, but fruit juices contain essential vitamins that water does not have. However, many bottled juices contain a lot of artificial sweeteners, and do not actually have as many vitamins as they would like you to think. There are a lot of “organic juice bars” in New York City that offer fresh made “pure” juice. Other than that I would stick to good old o.j. and apple juice. If juice is not really your favorite, a cool trick I have seen friends do is fill their water bottle (see above) with fresh sliced fruit. There are many completely natural options, and they are just slightly flavored, so it is easy to drink a lot. Also, there is something satisfying about knowing exactly what is going into your body.
3. Do you even lift?
Exercise and I have a complicated relationship. I love the feeling after a really great workout, and I do use running as a way to deal with stress, but sometimes it is just so hard to get up off the couch and go to the gym. Luckily, FIT has two very conveniently placed gyms! The larger one is in the basement of the David Dubinsky student center and classes are offered for free! The second is in the basement of the Kaufman dorm. However, this one is only available to students who are residents. Also, FIT actually has quite a few athletic teams. Less than the average college, but more than you thought I bet. If exercising with your peers doesn’t sound so enticing, you can always do what I do and run along the Hudson river. It is a five minute walk from Kaufman and maybe 10 – 15 from 27th street. I prefer to run outdoors and the city has renovated the area along the river and made it perfect for runners. Another one of my alternative workouts is yoga…at home! You can really find anything on YouTube. Why pay for a gym membership again?
4. Sleep is for the weak. Just kidding, I’m tired and going to bed.
Sleep is super important for staying healthy. They say you need eight hours every night, but more is better. Let’s be real though, who gets eight hours every night? My advice would be just to avoid all nighters at all costs. There will probably be nights throughout your college career where you have to stay up all night to finish a project, but try to make these happen as few times as possible. Your body, and your grades, will thank you. A project is always better when it is not rushed. The biggest thing is simply learning to not procrastinate, and instead of binge watching Orange is the New Black, writing that paper, or sewing that shirt. Something that actually helped me a lot was having a roommate was asleep every night by 11 o’clock. Because she went to bed earlier than I did, it forced me to go to bed earlier because I didn’t want to keep her up with lights or noise I was making. As the semester went on, I began to plan doing my work around being finished by 11 so she could sleep, and I ended up being much more productive, and sleeping more! Creating (and actually sticking to) a schedule can really make getting work done at a normal time much easier to accomplish.