On Staying Healthy In College

On Staying Healthy In College

How the E. coli outbreak at Chipotle can remind us to stay healthy

College students in the U.S., it's time to freak out. Our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant Chipotle is under investigation for an outbreak of E. coli O26 infection in several states, says the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC, a total of 45 people have been infected as of November 19th in these following states: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26). Of the people infected, 16 have been hospitalized, but there have been no deaths reported. The stores in these states that were closed for investigation have been reopened, with the approval of the CDC and FDA. You might be thinking that these outbreaks don't apply to you, or that you aren't concerned because no outbreaks ave happened in your state, and you may be right. But, with the final exam season coming up, we need to take better care of our health, so do you really want to risk it?

It's important to stay healthy and aware of illness around us, especially if you live with other people—dorms are the prime contenders for airborne sicknesses to spread. And while E. coli isn't airborne, it does remind us that to stay healthy and we need to stay alert. There are certain measures that we can take to remain healthy, both physically and mentally, when we are stumbling through college.

Getting Enough Sleep

When we don't get enough sleep, we become moody, less productive, and more prone to illness. Sleep is an important aspect of our day and if we decide to skip it, the other events in our daily lives can become muddled. From personal experience, pulling all-nighters may seem worth it, but they just hurt us in the end. If you have an upcoming exam, make sure you do some studying throughout the week and not just the night before. Taking a test caught up on sleep really changes the way the mind works.

Do a little moving

As a self-proclaimed Netflix addict getting out to do a bit of exercise is something I really don't look forward to. I'm not saying that you have to go out and spend an hour at the gym everyday, but a bit of exercise is good for the soul. Whether it's convincing some friends to go jogging with you or spending 20 minutes walking to class—the best option in my opinion—go out and get moving.

Stay Hydrated

Buy a refillable water bottle and continuously fill it up during the day. Ever since I started using a Brita bottle, I've been drinking more and more water, and my energy and skin have thanked me for it. Drinking lots of water helps flush out any infection that you might have contracted, and it can also help your concentration and keep you from overeating.

Deep breaths

It's exam season, so it's okay to get a little stressed out, but you have to remember that our minds need breaks too. Watch Netflix, go out to dinner with friends, attend a campus event, or hell, even have a bit of safe sex. Relax, do something that makes you laugh, and then get back to studying. A break from stress is essential to living a healthy lifestyle.

Keep in touch with loved ones

College is hard, life is hard, but friends and family don't have to be. Call them, talk to them, rant to them. Get the crushing emotions out. And then you can continue with life.

Keep a healthy diet

Now, I'll admit that dining hall food isn't the best for you, but it is still possible for you to dine smart even when on a dining hall budget. Instead of going straight for the pizza, look at the gluten free section. Rather than eating the pasta, meander over to the sandwich and salad station once in a while. I'm not saying that you have to do this every time you go to the dining hall, but once in a while you should change up which foods you ingest.

Caffeine is a no-no

Your classes are a bore, so you go straight for the coffee pot. It's okay, I do too. Just like all-nighters, the caffeine fix is just temporary and in a few hours, you're going to crash. Keeping your energy level up can be done by eating healthy, so caffeine isn't really that necessary, plus caffeinated drinks are usually high in sugar.

Get a flu shot and stock up on vitamins

Keeping you immune system healthy is key to surviving through college without sick days. Take the flu shot, many places give them out for free, and make sure that you're not just eating junk. Get some multi-vitamins, yes they might be an investment, but they help in the long run.

Take some "Me time"

Sometimes we just need to alone time to help replenish our minds and bodies. Take yourself out on a movie or shopping date, kick back in your apartment and pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back in your dorm room and read a book. Turn off your phone for a few hours and just pretend that you're the last person on earth. Revitalize your mental health – it helps you get through the semester.

Cover Image Credit: http://1degreebio.org

Popular Right Now

Loving An Addict: The End Of You And Me

I knew this would be how we would end, but I never thought it'd be so soon.

I've rewritten this a thousand times. It's been edited, and edited again. I can't seem to get it right. Maybe because I'm not ready.

Or, maybe it's because there's a part of me that'll never be ready to say we reached the end. Maybe, just maybe, there's a fraction of a possibility we haven't.

I posted this quote once, on Instagram: "One day, whether you are 14, 28, or 65 you will stumble upon someone who will start a fire in you that cannot die. However, the saddest, most awful truth you will ever come to find-- is they are not always with whom we spend our lives."

And you looked at me the next time I was at your house, busted my balls, and said, "I saw your Instagram post about me." You proceeded to recite the entire thing word for word. I laughed, because at the time I posted it, it wasn't about you, and you hadn't even been following my private account, so someone must have showed it to you. It wasn't about you at the time I posted it, but maybe it was always meant to be.

I went to Hawaii last week. And I can't tell you how many times I felt you there; on the tarmac as the plane landed, the sun dipping under the horizon. In the sunshine as I laid my head back, floating in the ocean. On the edge of a cemented outcropping of Diamond Head that's off limits. And most importantly, by my side-- on the beach, at Manoa Falls-- in some small piece of every adventure I had.

I tried to leave you in 2016. Yet you still managed to be the first kiss of 2017 the same way you were the last one of 2016. I never could shut you out or leave you, not really, no matter what you did to me. And I have some small comfort in the fact that I was your last kiss, even though you won't be mine. And that you never left me either, no matter what I did to you.

I wrote you a letter, last year, and told you some things. Things like you couldn't be in the cards for me; you couldn't even be in the same deck, because you'd always be an addict first and a husband second. That you'd have to fight those demons every day. That I'd never understand that craving, but I would feel that pain. And holy shit, do I feel that pain.

But I was wrong. I owed you more than that. And I am so sorry.

I tried to build you up with my words, but I still managed to tear you down with my actions. I was afraid of being hurt-- again-- and again, and again. So I tried to hurt you instead.

Two wrongs don't make a right, and in the end I think I started to realize that. I tried to turn it around for us; to accept you as you were.

But you told me that effort and trying wouldn't be enough for us. I guess you knew something I didn't. And maybe they wouldn't have been enough. Because as hard as I tried, I could never save you.

You knew my worst fear, babe. I told you a million times. Walking into work at the county morgue and seeing your name on that board. Picking up the phone and listening to some cop rattle off your name while I was expected to take the details, handle the call and your corpse. Waking up next to you dead in bed, stiff and foaming at the mouth.

And while I did wake up next to you, alive, on Saturday, it doesn't change the fact that you were still dead by Sunday. It happened a little differently than I imagined it, but my worst fear came true just the same. I still lost you. And in losing you, I still lost the future I vehemently denied wanting, in a feeble attempt to stave the pain. And guess what? I still feel all of that pain anyways. Part of me will feel all of that pain, for the rest of my life.

I'm not alone, in my grieving. You have parents, and sisters, and cousins; aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, friends. All of these people that loved you; they all tried to save you the only way they knew they could. None of it could have ever been enough.

You'll never be a husband, or a dad. You'll never meet your future nieces or nephews. You'll never breathe, ever again. You made me the person who's going to be thirty-two, standing at your grave.

And while we may move forward, love, we will never really move on. We'll never "get over" losing you; a brother, a son, a friend. Whatever you and me were.

We'll move forward, and keep spreading your legacy. Because everyone should know just how beautiful you truly were, inside and out. Because for all the pain you felt, and everything we went through, you were still the light in every room.

I'll forever miss your smile, and the way we'd be at each others' throats. The way you'd duck away, trying to hide your laugh and your smile when you didn't want me to know you thought what I said was funny. The way you'd hug me from behind the second I was within five feet of another guy. The way we used to fight. God, I love the way we used to fight. And I can't begin to express to you how unreal this still is to me.

We weren't dating. We weren't even together. We could go months without speaking and pick up where we left off without a hitch. We weren't everything, but we were something. You were my best friend, my biggest weakness, and a giant pain in my ass. You were my future, so long as you were breathing. I could do anything, be anyone, so long as there was hope for you and me in the end.

I don't know how to live in a world where you're not breathing. So far, I've hated every second of it. And I'm not the only one.

I told you that if you died, I died. Remember? And I did. The person that I was before I lost you, is buried in the ground beside you. Who I am now, is something I haven't entirely yet come to comprehend.

And now I'm left standing here, looking at all of the promises we made each other. Promises we never got the chance to fulfill. I knew that some day I'd lose you. That one day I'd wake up in a world where you'd ceased to exist. And still I prayed, I prayed that I'd be wrong. I hoped, until the very last day, that you'd turn it around for me, no matter how stupid that sounds.

But now I lay here in your shirt and I look through videos and pictures and the black cavern that sits in my chest aches at the edges, while grief sucker punches me in the gut and steals air from my lungs. You are so loved, bubby, by everyone who knew you.

I said at the beginning, that maybe there's a fraction of a possibility that this isn't the end, not really. On Earth, maybe. But I know in a sense you're still here; your presence. And even though this is the end of us down here, I know that someday you'll be waiting for me. And you'll say, "Let's go home," like you always did after a long night. And you'll be ready this time. And I'll be ready too. And then we'll begin again.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Perna

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

We Are As Free As We Choose To Be

Unchain your mind.

Isn’t it quite cynical to choose a life that wastes our fleeting days? Isn’t it painfully sad to have an overabundance of opportunities, yet we crawl into bed, unaccomplished, alone, and not where we want to be?

We say, “oh, tomorrow, it will be better.”

We say, “it won’t be like this for long.”

But what if your ways stay stagnant because you’re too reserved to move? You are running in place because you’ve chained yourself to a false reality that has kept you small and comfortable for far too long. It’s easier this way — I’ve said it all before too because at the time I didn’t realize, I was staring fear in the face and it looked like my friend.

As I watch and learn from those around me, I’ve seen it all too and my biggest take away will be that choosing comfort over growth is a fatal decision; it’s in the continuous belittling things we do that destroys our well-being, our consciousness, our integrity until we are morphed into someone who retreats at the idea of failure, rejection, and discomfort — until we morph into someone we are no longer proud of.

We are as free as we choose to be — as blessed and humbled as our minds dare grant us. We have all capabilities in the world to create a life we love and nourish our soul that radiates from the inside out. It should be a simple choice, although it may not always be the easiest because temptation is real and inclusion feels vital. Yet, how do you expect to always fit in if your soul is requiring you to be on another journey, a new path, uncharted territory?

When things go sour, relationships fall through, and opportunities turn a blind eye to us, those instances can be considered a prominent end or a flourishing beginning to start something new or try again. It’s quite special to have all this power inside of you, to be strong in your convictions, to know your worth; so why would you spend one more moment doubting your existence? Why would you spend one more moment pondering all the lost causes?

Why wouldn’t you spend every moment of your life loving deeper and living to the fullest?

There’s one thing I know for sure, I will continue to choose my freedom, without chains, burdens, and obligations because in being truly free, I will know my most true, authentic self.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley DeBoer

Related Content

Facebook Comments