Avoiding seasonal sickness can be hard, especially for college students. I am a perfect example of who not to emulate when taking precautions against getting sick. I have been sick six weeks of winter term alone, but the experience has helped me learn what not to do. When you’re constantly being exposed to thousands of other people, most of which are suffering from lack of sleep, malnutrition, and high stress… yeah, it’s bad. All those factors weaken people’s immune systems and make them more vulnerable for colds, flus and other germ invasions. This article will provide you with ways you can help strengthen your immune system to avoid those end-all illnesses.



Shots shots shots! Vaccinations and flu shots can help save you from the worst illnesses each year. The flu has spread like wildfire throughout the campus, and having the flu shot won’t only help prevent you from getting it, but also help prevent it from spreading to even more people. A plethora of pharmacies or clinic locations around Eugene offer accessible and affordable flu shots, including student discounts at many of them.



This is a big one. I know that we’re all in college and usually cut back on sleep to finish assignments or study for big midterms coming up, but they say you’re supposed to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. A lack of sleep severely weakens your immune system and makes it so much easier for the germs to get all up in there.



Lack of food makes a person’s body and mind alone notably weaker, just imagine what it does to one’s immune system! In order to prevent from getting sick, you should make sure you’re eating a healthy amount while also making sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables. On top of this, drink all the water you can possibly manage. Staying hydrated (clear liquids are the best) is the fastest track to nourishing your immune system and warding off bugs. If you wanna be extra fancy, add an Emegen-C Immune Booster packet to your water for reinforcement. Along with this, avoid foods with lots of MSG or sugar, as high salt or sugar contents compete for space in your body against essential nutrients like vitamin C or antibodies fighting the sickness.



Limited contact is always a good idea while sicknesses are going around. Try to not share water bottles, pencils or pens, or anything that you don’t have to and remember to wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizer should be a last resort. Studies have shown that the only germs that hand sanitizer don’t kill are very strong and almost certain to infect you, so don’t rely on it. Avoid spending time with friends who are sick or going to large-scale events where there will be a higher population of germs in one spot.


Herbal Help

Ginger is also a very effective deterrent of illness—it helps strengthen your immune system. It may be a little harsh for sensitive stomachs, but in the long run it helps you heal faster or prevent you from catching a sickness that could be coming on. The best way to take it is to dice up about a spoonful of it and swallow with a swig of water. Taking a shot of apple cider vinegar also helps you avoid catching a cold or some other sickness. The taste and smell is very strong, but that’s part of what makes it so good for you. Basic natural immune boosters to add to your snacks or tea are lemons, garlic or turmeric.


Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.