Take care of others by taking care of yourself

By Alice Lee, Columnist

It’s that time of year again. The Starbucks lines are flooded with students, the streets are lined with leaves of yellow, orange and red hues. Fall is in the air.

But along with the changing seasons comes the changing weather. Students should be wary of their health with the fluctuation of temperature on campus.

The National Foundation of Infectious Diseases reports that each year, as low as 8 percent and only as high as 39 percent of college students get a flu shot, despite the overwhelming research supporting the high rate of flu prevention. Flu shots are so accessible on campus that students have no excuse for failing to get theirs.

McKinley Health Center holds flu clinics at several locations across campus, from Grainger Engineering Library to Ikenberry Commons to the Business Instructional Facility. McKinley has done its job of accommodating the wide range of student living spaces to make it easier for students to find one closest to where they reside. Therefore it is up to the student to actually get their flu shot.

The University has an undergraduate population of over 33,000 students, making up a majority of the total population of students attending the University this fall. Living among thousands of students in such close proximity increases the likelihood of transferring germs and viruses.

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    Think about it. Students put off sleep until early morning because they’re often keeping up with their schoolwork. On top of that, many students share a common living space with others. It’s no surprise why college students are a highly susceptible population at risk of getting and spreading flu viruses.

    Staying healthy is good for you, but I would argue taking care of yourself in college is even more important to keep other students healthy. I understand the stress and worry that any student would feel over missing class, but sneezing and coughing your way through a 50-minute lecture doesn’t do anyone any favors.

    Flu shots are free and protect you from getting sick, but also helps foster a health-conscious campus where the safety and well-being of everyone is valued by each student.

    Seriously. If you don’t care about keeping yourself healthy, at least have the decency to get a flu shot for the sake of others.

    A healthy mind lives within a healthy body. Unfortunately, this is a fact many college students tend to overlook. In order to prevent the cold and flu epidemic that seems to hit every college campus during this time of year, take care of others by taking care of yourself.  

    Alice is a freshman in LAS.

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