It's the beginning of the new semester which means new classes, cold weather, Rush, and yet another round of the Sewanee plague. Being in close quarters with people in college makes it easy for any contagious illness to spread around - including but not limited to the common cold, the stomach virus, and most recently the dreaded flu. Here are some helpful tips on how you can avoid the Sewanee plague this semester.

1. Stay hydrated

ice, beer
Abigail Shipps

This could not be emphasized enough. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to avoid getting sick. Not only can drinking enough water help arm your body against an illness like the flu, but it is also vital for your heart health in addition to brain and muscle health. Having a hard time staying hydrated? Make it interesting with this (water) drinking game. 

2. Drink tea

Like drinking water, drinking tea is an important key to flushing out toxins. However, unlike water, tea comes with an extra punch of vitamins as well as decongesting and stomach soothing properties. It's important to drink non-caffenated beverages as they are dehydrating. Your body needs to stay hydrated, especially during the Sewanee plague season.

3. Get sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the simplest ways to ensure your body has time to heal and fight off infection. While the right amount of sleep varies from person to person, one should aim to hit between 7-9 hours. In addition, avoid consuming caffinated or sugary foods/drinks right before bed as they can prevent you from falling asleep. If you're having trouble falling asleep without a snack, these "nutritionist approved" foods like bananas, greek yogurt, or oatmeal are good choices

4. Eat bananas

pasture, vegetable, banana
Abigail Shipps

When you aren't feeing your best, eating your regular foods may cause some stomach senitivity. Good thing bananas exist. If you don't want to eat soup all the time, bananas are a great solid food that goes easy on the stomach. Sewanee Tip: take a few bananas from the fruit table in McClurg and keep them in your dorm room or backpack.

5. Eat Soup/Broth

cabbage, soup, vegetable
Abigail Shipps

Quite possibly the best thing you can eat when you're feeling under the weather is broth or soup. It acts as a decongestant, helps you stay hydrated, and like bananas, it's easy to digest with a sensitive stomach. Sewanee's dining hall just recently installed a new food line, called SUM, short for sum, ergo edo (I eat, therefore I am). It's avaliable during lunch and dinner on the weekdays. It serves chicken, beef, and bone broths in addition to grains, thick-sliced meat, noodles, and loads of vegetables. It's not only a great go-to when nothing else seems appetizing, it's also a great go-to for when you're sick!

Getting sick in college is never fun, especially when you're away from home and you don't have someone else to take care of you. Dont be intimidated or scared - with these tips on how you can avoid the Sewanee plague this semester, you will be more protected against whatever illness is spreading around than ever. Drink water and tea, eat healthy foods, and wash your hands! Stay healthy, my friends.