How To Get Over A Cold Like A True College Kid

How To Get Over A Cold Like A True College Kid

Runny nose and sore throat? Good times.
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Fall semester is in session and so is fall weather! While this might be exciting, there are sad consequences to the changing of the seasons: nasty colds. There are multiple reasons why colds are more likely during fall and spring. For fall, it might be due to the drastic change in temperature. There is usually a surge in flu or cold outbreaks during a cold snap (when temperatures reach suddens lows for a few days.) This is because our bodies immune system needs to adapt to the change in temperature and tends to be weaker because of it.

College kids also tend to become more susceptible when entering the new semester because of the high stress scenarios of balancing a class schedule. High levels of stress and lack of sleep, both things that happen when you are juggling class, homework, a part time job, and a social life leads to a weaker immune system. Add in the bonus of being in enclosed areas (classes) around strangers, you’ve just opened yourself to tons of new and exciting strains of bacteria!

I am currently suffering from this wonderful rhinovirus (the official name of the bacteria that causes the common cold,) thanks to stress and lack of sleep, so I figured I should shed some wisdom on how to get over a cold like any college kid would.

First, I’ll start with the basics. The most important part is staying hydrated, which means: drink water. I know, gross, right? Why drink water when you clearly need coffee after pulling an all-nighter? And you wonder why you got sick in the first place. Well, to convince you to stay hydrated, let me throw a little science at you. When you have a cold, you might notice that you’re coughing up a lot of mucus and you’re nose feels like a faucet. This is because your body’s natural reaction to fighting the common cold is to build up mucus. Mucus takes up a lot of your body’s water content, however drinking water will cause the mucus to be less sticky and easier to expel from your body by coughing or blowing your nose. I’m really sorry if you were eating, but it’s an important fact. The human body is disgusting. Luckily, water is free in most places, so I’d advise you run to your nearest sink and fill a clean cup with your best tap water.

Second, if you can’t afford to run to the store to buy kleenex and you’re basically in your dorm for the night and can’t leave because you absolutely need to finish this paper, here is an awesome life hack: use toilet paper. I know, gross, disgusting, toilet paper is for toilets, but just hear me out. It’s basically the same thing as tissue paper and you probably keep rolls stored somewhere away from the bathroom. Besides, you keep your makeup and hair products in the bathroom don’t you? Check mate. Anyways, toilet paper is great. Usually it’s kind of soft and if you’re too embarrassed to carry a roll of toilet paper to class, just keep this in your room when you wake up in the middle of the night to blow your nose and just buy kleenex on your way to class to keep on you.

Third, tea is your best friend. Tea with honey are probably my favorite thing to drink when I have a cold. Avoid caffeinated tea because caffeine will dehydrate you which you are trying to avoid as I explained in my first point. Tea is great because most hot liquids will soothe your throat. Really anything dealing with steam will be the best for your body right now. So take a nice long hot shower while your at it. Honey is fantastic because it lines your throat and will soothe it. I prefer a good soothing tea, like camomile or earl grey because it’ll relieve stress and help you relax. Stress is probably what got you here in the first place and it’s important to relax even when you’re balancing everything like a clown in a juggling act. So, take a break from studying, turn on that goofy sitcom, microwave some hot water, because let’s be honest, we haven’t reached the level of adulthood to actually have a tea kettle, and make yourself some nice hot tea with honey in it.

I hope some of these have helped. I’m going to try to get over this cold the best I can considering my busy and stressful schedule. I wish all of you sicklings good luck and make sure to do the right thing and not cough in your friends face. Also please don’t be jerk and get your partner sick if you have one. You can literally wait a week without kissing . If you actually care about them, you wouldn’t want to get them sick anyway. Stay healthy!

Cover Image Credit: NBC News

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Potomac Urges Me To Keep Going

A simple story about how and why the Potomac River brings me emotional clarity.

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It's easy to take the simple things for granted. We tell ourselves that life is moving too fast to give them another thought. We are always thinking about what comes next. We can't appreciate what's directly in front of us because we are focused on what's in our future. Sometimes you need to snap back to present and just savor the fact that you are alive. That's what the Potomac River does for me.

I took the Potomac River for granted at one point. I rode by the river every day and never gave it a second glance. I was always distracted, never in the present. But that changed one day.

A tangle of thoughts was running rampant inside my head.

I have a lot of self-destructive tendencies. I find it's not that hard to convince yourself that life isn't worth living if nothing is there to put it in perspective.

My mind constantly conjures up different scenarios and follows them to their ultimate conclusion: anguish. I needed something to pull myself out of my mental quagmire.

All I had to do was turn my head and look. And I mean really look. Not a passing glance but rather a gaze of intent. That's when it hit me. It only lasted a minute or so but I made that moment feel like an eternity.

My distractions of the day, no matter how significant they seemed moments ago, faded away. A feeling of evanescence washed over me, almost as if the water itself had cleansed me.

I've developed a routine now. Whenever I get on the bus, I orient myself to get the best view of the river. If I'm going to Foggy Bottom, I'll sit on the right. If I'm going back to the Mount Vernon Campus, I'll sit on the left. I'll try to sit in a seat that allows me to prop my arm against the window, and rest my cheek against my palm.

I've observed the Potomac in its many displays.

I've observed it during a clear day when the sky is devoid of clouds, and the sun radiates a far-reaching glow upon the shimmering ripples below. I can't help but envy the gulls as they glide along the surface.

I've observed it during the rain when I have to wipe the fogged glass to get a better view. I squint through the gloom, watching the rain pummel the surface, and then the river rises along the bank as if in defiance of the harsh storm. As it fades from view, I let my eyes trace the water droplets trickling down the window.

I've observed it during snowfall when the sheets of white obscure my view to the point where I can only make out a faint outline.

I've observed it during twilight when the sky is ablaze with streaks of orange, yellow, and pink as the blue begins to fade to grey.

Last of all, I've observed it during the night, when the moon is swathed in a grey veil. The row of lights running along the edge of the bridge provides a faint gleam to the obsidian water below.

It's hard to tear away my eyes from the river now. It's become a place of solace. The moment it comes into view, I'll pause whatever I'm doing. I turn up the music and let my eyes drift across the waterfront. A smile always creeps across my face. I gain a renewed sense of life.

Even on my runs, I set aside time to take in the river. I'll run across the bridge toward Arlington and then walk back, giving myself time to look out over either side of the bridge. I don't feel in a rush for once. I just let the cool air brush against my face. Sometimes my eyes begin to water. Let's just say it's not always because of the wind.

I chase surreal moments. The kind of moments you can't possibly plan for or predict. Moments where you don't want to be anywhere else. The ones that ground your sense of being. They make life truly exceptional.

Though I crave these moments, they are hard to come by. You can't force them. Their very nature does not allow it. But when I'm near the river, these moments just seem to come naturally.

I remember biking around DC when I caught sight of the Potomac. Naturally, I couldn't resist trying to get a better view. I pulled up along the river bank, startling a lone gull before dismounting. I took a few steps until I reached the edge of the water. The sun shone brilliantly in the center of the horizon.

A beam of light stretched across the water toward me, almost like a pathway to the other side of the river. I felt an urge to walk forward. I let one-foot dangle over the water, lowering it slowly to reach the glittering water below. I debated briefly whether I could walk on water. Though it sounds ridiculous, anything felt possible. Snapping back to reality, I brought my foot back up and scanned the vast blue expanse before me.

Eventually, the wind began to buffet against my left cheek, as if directing me to look right. I turned my head. A couple was walking along the bike path. They paused beneath a tree for a moment and locked eyes. Smiling, the man leaned in and whispered something in the woman's ear. As she giggled, they began to kiss softly.

While I looked on with a smile of my own, I couldn't help but wonder if there was someone else out there in the world willing to share this moment with me.

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