Every returning Delhi student knows exactly what the Delhi plague is: runny, stuffy noses, sore throats, coughing. Basically a cyclic cold that seems to never end and when it does? It's right back again. If you're a freshmen, you'll know the plague soon enough.

Each semester, you arrive on campus healthy and ready to thrive. However, there are a bunch of factors that your body is dealing with:

1. New weather

Delhi weather is NEVER the same as the weather anywhere else. You may have heard that Delhi can go through all the seasons in one day. It's not a lie. I remember during my freshman year, it snowed, hailed, rained and was super sunny and hot in one day. I was so confused and my outfit that day was too.

2. Different Foods

To be blunt, college food isn't mom's cooking. It's not even in the same realm of your mom's cooking. All those nights that you complained about meatloaf will be in vain as you'll want nothing more than "real food" after a month. Your body is getting used to different nutrients, different items and honestly, a lot more processed garbage than most of us ate at home (thanks c-store.)

3. Residence Hall living

Someone, somewhere did not wash their hands after they sneezed into them; those germs are now thriving in the new closed quarters we inhabit. With windows closed in the winter, the rooms get stuffy and germy. People are pretty gross in the bathrooms, too. And if you're living with a roommate, and they get the plague, you're almost guaranteed a one-way pass to the Delhi plague.

4. Stress

You're a college student; stress is what you're filled with. You're pulling all-nighters, chugging caffeine, having mini mental breakdowns in the bathroom. If you go a semester without feeling even a tiny amount of stress, you're either doing college wrong or a wizard. Stress can wreak havoc on your immune system and make you more susceptible to the plague-y germs.

5. Partying

I'm not saying everyone parties, but a decent amount of people do. You're ingesting large amounts of alcohol, staying up way too late, and in close quarters with others for hours. And all of those things can make you a walking target for the plague. And don't even get me started with the revealing clothes in the negative degree weather. Although there is no direct correlation between temperature and illness, wearing little clothing in a blizzard to get to a party where your bae may or may not be, probably doesn't help plague season come to a halt.

So, it may seem like the odds are against you here. And admittedly, they may be.

BUT...lucky for you, there are a couple things you can do to avoid the plague (or at least get over it quicker).

First, open your dorm window. I get that it may or may not be chilly outside; I also understand that people often think parking lots are great spots to be loud at 2 A.M. Grab an extra blanket and maybe invest in earplugs if you're super noise sensitive. I say open a window because you'll want to let some of the stuffiness and germs out. It'll also help you breathe better at night if it's a little cooler in your room.

Next, take a break for a couple days. Now, I'm not saying skip classes and work and responsibilities. However, no one will be mad at you for not going to a club meeting (let someone know first) or missing out on a Thursday at Piccs. Take some time to get as much rest as you can so you can power through the plague.

Now, go to Foreman and get Zinc tablets and cough drops; they're free and right as you walk in.The Zinc tablets basically help to shorten a cold, so take them at first sign of sickness (you know, that awful throat feeling that kicks off the plague?). The cough drops are for soothing your throat, and helping to mellow the cough if you get the full-on plague. You may also want to grab some Ibuprofen because the plague is notorious for causing headaches and body aches too; again, it's free so what's to lose?

Alright, we're going to head off-campus now. Go to Price Chopper or Rite Aid and pick up some Vitamin C (like Emergen-C), some microwaveable chicken noodle soup and saltines. You'll thank me later.

Next, head back to campus and take a hot shower. It may feel good to take a cool shower in the warmer temperatures but hot showers will help clear your sinuses and lower your body temp (weird that hot can lower your temp, but it works). I also like to put some Vick's Vapor Rub in the shower so the steam can be all menthol filled. But beware, Vapor Rub is super slippery and shower shoes can cause you to fall and break your everything.

Lastly, stay hydrated and eat as well as you can on campus. You may not necessarily want to eat loads of fruits and veggies on campus, but you should try for a couple days. Avoid the pizza and try to get a bunch of nutrients in your system. Drink lots of water during this time too. Carry a reusable water bottle or at least buy some with Broncos at C-Store or Farrell. You'll feel better and you won't get chapped lips as easily.

Okay, so now we're here. We either avoided the plague or we're trying to power through it. Obviously there are things that I haven't mentioned in this article (like wash your hands, go to the doctor if it gets worse, etc.) I'm not a medical professional either; this is just solely based on my experiences at Delhi.

So good luck to us, and here's to another year fighting the plague together.