If I were to conduct a survey of college students at Penn State with a stuffy nose, sore throat, a cough, and constant sneezing I guarantee about 70% of students would have these symptoms. The second a moment of silent arises in any of my classes, it is constant coughing. We are in the midst of the common cold plague in the college environment and it is contagion.
How does the common cold arise? My mother always told me to never forget a jacket when the weather changes especially after sweating, and I think she might have been right. Dorms and classrooms are flooded with germs and it is hard to stay away from them. The common cold usually contains symptoms such as, a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. Exposure is one of the most common reasons for a cold and this definitely explains why so many people have it. At such a vast University like Penn State, we are exposed to different people in our dorms, classrooms, and even in our social life. Also, weather change has a huge impact on the common cold. The transition from summer to fall makes us more susceptible to colds because this is where we see the greatest drop down in temperature. Another common factor is the stress students face which will also lead to a lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep, combined with the climate change and exposure to other students in crowded areas, seems to be the exact reason why students like me suffer from the common cold. As we have been discussing in class, smoking is an extremely bad habit to get into, and not only does it cause lung cancer, sharing a boge at a party can not only put you at the risk of getting a cough, but also getting other diseases such as mono as well, and nobody wants that.
But when do we know that it is more than just the common cold? Usually common cold harsh symptoms only last for up to a few days. If you experience drawn out symptoms and constant high fevers, this may be when you want to go get it checked out. Difficulty breathing causing you to lose sleep can be a bigger issue. It is often hard to tell the difference between the common cold compared to a virus like the flu because the symptoms are so similar. It is important to know when you must seek help, because symptoms will only continue to get worse without an antibiotic.
So what’s the moral of the story? You can not really prevent the common cold, but what we are putting in our bodies makes all the difference in the world. The proper amount of sleep (as hard as it may seem) is crucial to a healthy body. Also, making sure you are drinking all of the right fluids (and not just a natty light every night) is also important. So stay with me here guys and grind out this common cold plague for just a couple more weeks.