There is a probably good chance you are asking yourself the same question right now. As I am currently getting over my first sickness of the year, I thought I’d see if there is a reason I get sick every time I come back to school. Even though I know the drinking and lack of sleep doesn’t help, there must be other factors playing into me always being sick. After browsing the internet for a little, I found a couple good reasons.
Lack of or No Sleep
When you don’t get your recommended eight hours of sleep per night, your body is more susceptible to getting sick. I know from personal experience that I stay up later when I am at school than when I am at home. Things such as having a ton of school work to do or just staying up to late with your friends cause you to lose sleep. It is definitely easy to lose sleep at college and the more you do it, the more likely you are to get sick says the Daily Collegian Online. Getting those eight hours of sleep plays a big part in staying healthy.
With almost 100,000 kids here at Penn State, you come in contact with a lot of people. This means that you are more likely to come across germs or viruses than you usually are. Living in a small college dorm or apartment doesn’t help either. Most college students live in small areas and usually have roommates who can also be sick. I know that when one of my roommates gets sick, I usually end getting sick soon after. The classrooms at school can also play a part in college students getting sick. So many kids going in and out of classrooms makes it easy for germs to spread.
What You Eat
I’m sure everyone has heard of the Freshman 15. When you come to college and don’t have the luxury of a fully stocked fridge, it is easy to decide upon fast food rather than a healthy alternative. I know that I don’t eat as well when I am at school because I am usually being rushed when I choose what I am going to eat. Fast food can sometimes seem like the best option even though it isn’t healthy. By eating unhealthy foods, you put yourself at a higher risk of getting sick.
Everyone in college seems to be at least a little stressed out. That big exam, paper or deciding what you want to do in the future can make it hard. Stress can cause you to do things you normally don’t do, get depressed, irritable or give you headache says the University of Wisconsin Platteville. College is hard and the stress that comes with it doesn’t help your immune system.
Another thing that is prevalent in college students is excess drinking. The CDC found that about 80 percent of college students drink alcohol. It also found that another 20 percent binge drink 3 or more times every two weeks. Excess drinking can harm your bodies immune system in two ways according to Dr. Sears. The first is causing a nutritional deficiency. Alcohol deprives your body of important nutrients. It can also hurt your bodies ability to make white blood cells, which kill germs.
So it seems that it wasn’t just the lack of sleep and drinking that has been causing me to get sick. With so many different reasons of why we get sick at college, it seems almost impossible to escape it. According to CollegeView, eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, relaxing and trying to avoid stress, exercising and good hygiene are some ways to avoid getting sick. I plan on trying a couple of these strategies and I bet some other people could benefit from them too. On that note, stay healthy everyone and don’t let the Penn State plague get the best of you.
The Reasons College Kids Get Sick. (2015). LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/209706-the-reasons-college-kids-get-sick/
How to Avoid Getting Sick on Campus. (2016). Collegeview.com. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from http://www.collegeview.com/articles/article/living-strong-how-to-prevent-and-treat-common-campus-sickness
G, M. (2013). 4 Habits that Weaken the Immune System | Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource for Parents. Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource for Parents. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition/foods-to-boost-immunity/4-habits-weaken-immune-system