A Fresh View: Getting Sick?

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Hello Everyone!

My name is Emily Schell, and I’m the freshman behind “A Fresh View.” You get to read my attempts to tell jokes and blog for the next year – but at least hopefully you will get something out of it! While you all struggle through the college application process, I get to struggle through the trials and tribulations of being a freshman. So there you have it: neither of us is alone. This blog is just a little bit of Brunonia to brighten up your week!

So… sorry about this past week everyone! I know your weeks were all made sooo much worse by the fact that you didn’t have a fabulous blog post by yours truly gracing your computer screen (just kidding.) However, this was for a very legitimate reason, which actually is what I’m going to talk to you about today – getting SICK!

As much as you all might think this is a pretty gross, “sticky” situation (ha get it, punny…), it is something that you really need to be aware of going into freshman year that I wasn’t. In college dorms, you will be living in pretty close proximity. That means you will be sharing bathrooms, touching the same doorknobs, eating from the same cafeterias, and basically being in contact with people 24/7. Sorry, germaphobes, your life is going to be a bit of a train wreck for a bit there. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for you to all freak out and decide to join a ultra-hygienic utopian society or anything – in college, the easiest way to avoid getting sick is literally so basic. Drink water, get sleep, wash your hands, and just don’t cough on other people (its just kind of rude too…). I don’t want to sound like your mom here, but one of the biggest things that my friends and I have had to deal with freshman year that has been both surprising and unsettling has been how quickly colds and viruses even more serious, such as mono, can be passed around. For example, on the second floor of my dorm, 4 people had mono in the first semester! 4 out of around 30! And if one person got a cold on the floor, you could count on the whole floor getting it within the next 3 weeks. Getting sick really isn’t fun for anyone because that means you have to miss class to recover, you’re behind on work, and you just feel really bad. All of these things will catch up to you quickly in the college environment – this isn’t like high school, where if you miss a day every here and there its “no big deal.” I promise, you don’t want to get sick – and you ESPECIALLY don’t want to get mono. But, like I said earlier, its nothing to be alarmed about if you’re proactive. Doing those basic things are huge steps in the right direction towards preventing sickness in dorms and on the Brown campus in general.

I don’t want your germs and you don’t want my germs. That’s the attitude you should have at WHATEVER school you chose to attend, but especially Brown (because really, I don’t want your germs, even if they are amazing and awesome because they come from a Brown student.) If you just keep basic health and hygiene part of your daily routine (I know it’s tempting to run out of the bathroom without washing your hands… I know…), you won’t have to worry nearly as much as getting a cold or the dreaded mono (which isn’t just a college myth, unfortunately…) and you’ll be just fine and dandy.

Also, as a final little sidebar just to further belay your fears that I probably just gave you about contracting mono in college/dying – Brown has many different places where you can get your health checked out. We have Health Services, which is generally open all day from 9 am to 7 pm and you can easily call in or walk in to get an appointment at. We also have Emergency Services on call ready to take you to the Providence Hospital IF that kind of assistance is needed (lets hope not!) In addition to these two “classic” health outlets, Brown also has its SHAG (Sexual Health Awareness Group) to help you with any sexual needs or questions you may have AND Psychological Services. Both of those services are always at your disposal if you feel the need to utilize them. So, fear not, getting sick – whether it be the common cold or (hopefully not!) something worse – is definitely something that happens at college, but if you just follow a little basic hygiene and act responsibility if you do get sick, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about! ☺

As always, if you all have any questions, want me to cover a specific topic, or just want to rant about the college application process, feel free to shoot me an email at emily_schell@brown.edu.

Ever true to Brown,

Emily Schell

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