Well, you have probably noticed in the last few days that the temperature dropped by about 40 degrees. FORTY DEGREES. That's right. Going from 80 degrees to 40 degrees is quite the adjustment. Put away the shorts and pull out the fleece jackets. Just a little over a week ago, I was sitting on the hot metal bleachers in the blazing hot sun, sweating my butt off with my family as I cheered on our Dukes. Within the last week, we basically leaped into winter and with the cold temperatures on the rise, comes the rapid spread of the JMU plague.

Our fellow dukes know all about the plague that spreads like rapid fire across campus. It's nearly impossible to not get sick at least once during the fall and winter months. If you're one of the lucky few that hasn't been a victim of the plague, don't worry, your time will come soon.

For now, here are 10 ways to avoid the dreaded JMU plague.

1. Wash your hands.

It's one of the most basic things you learn as a kid that everyone suddenly forgets about in college. Wash your hands, people! You might think it won't do anything to blow your nose and then go touch a doorknob, but fear not; your germs will spread to someone who doesn't want them. So sacrifice the extra 30 seconds while you sing happy birthday to yourself (or whatever song you were told to sing while washing your hands) and do us all a favor.

2. Cover your mouth!

And stay clear of those who don't. This goes along with the hand washing. No one wants your germs spreading through the air because you're too lazy to bring your elbow up to your face.

3. Please stay home.

If you have a fever, stomach, bug, virus, or anything of that nature, please do us healthy students a favor. You have an excuse to sit at home and watch Netflix all day. When you were a kid, you couldn't try any harder to convince your parents to let you stay home from school. In college, your parents aren't around to make that decision for you. With such a fast-paced curriculum, no one wants to miss class and fall behind. It's understandable. But if you're contagious, keep it contained to yourself. Save your class skips for when you're actually sick, not just because you "don't feel like going."

4. Avoid rubbing your eyes.

We all do it subconsciously without even thinking about when the last time we washed our hands was. But what we don't know is what bacteria we're putting into our eyes.

5. Keep your living space clean.

In trying to avoid getting sick, all that dust that's built up in your living space definitely isn't helping. Keeping your living space clean and sanitized can help to get rid of germs that are in the air.

6. Don’t share drinks or food.

This can definitely get tricky to stay clear of on the weekends, but sharing things is the easiest way to get sick and also the most preventable way too. If you have a slight cold, don't share anything. If you're friend or partner is starting to get sick, don't share anything with them. Plain and simple.

7. Sleep.

You're only hurting yourself by staying up until 3 a.m. when you're not feeling your best. It's the perfect time to have a valid excuse for going to bed at 9 p.m. if that's even an option. I know, 9 p.m. is a time when we never thought we would have the luxury of going to bed. Not sleeping enough is one way you can become sick.

8. Take Vitamin C.

Build up that immune system. Emergen-C and Airborne are your best friends and will help in the long run.

9. Bundle up.

Once it starts to get cold outside, you have to properly dress for the weather. That means don't be walking around campus in a tank top when it's 40 degrees. Even if you think you'll be fine, chances are you'll catch a small cold that will probably turn into an even worse cold.

10. Stay away from the sicklings.

The worst thing you can do is be around people that are really suffering from the JMU plague. It's really hard but the last thing you want to do is catch their germs. Try to keep somewhat of a distance or be aware of the need to wash your hands after being around someone who is sick.

Good luck and stay clear of the JMU plague, Dukes!