I am extremely fortunate to have a doctor as a father – well, sometimes. Granted, my dad is an ophthalmologist, which means I can get discounted contacts and get my eyes checked often. But, he still has 12+ years of intense medical studying under his belt, meaning he knows a lot about the human body, and would never accept my excuses to try to get out of going to school. Bummer.

I have to say though, my dad has given me tons of great medical advice over the years. One is how to stay healthy during cold season – something that is essential for us college students. So I interviewed my dad, Dr. Arnett, to see what tips he has for fighting a common cold so when "the plague" hits the dorm, you stay cough free. 

Vitamin C Supplements

condiment, oil
Gregoire Durand

"Taking Vitamin-C supplements, like Emergen-C or Airborne," Dr. Arnett said, "is the first thing I do when I feel myself getting sick."

He says that vitamin C helps boost your immune system when it's depressed, so it's imperative that you consume some as soon as you start feeling under the weather. If you can't find any liquid Vitamin C supplements, taking Vitamin C tablets will work too, he suggests.


juice, sweet, cocktail, orange juice, smoothie, milk, ice, cream
Jocelyn Hsu

Even though orange juice is thought to be the go-to drink when you're sick, it's riddled with sugar, so it basically negates the purpose. "It's better to get your Vitamin C from the other supplements I've mentioned," Dr. Arnett stated. Or you can eat your way to health with these certain foods.

Drink Lots of Water

lemon, water, lemonade
Caroline Liu

"Staying hydrated is very important," says Dr. Arnett. "Whenever I'm coming down with a cold, I start drinking more water than I normally do."

He says water is key to help flush out toxins, up your immune system, and keep you from being dehydrated, which can lead to a host of other problems and prevent you from getting better.

Sleep, Sleep, and More Sleep

Sleeping is probably the best thing you can do for your body when you start to feel sick. "Ideally, you want to get as much sleep in as you can during the night, and even during the day," Dr. Arnett explains, as it will help your body fight off unwanted illnesses. Go ahead, take that nap.

Wash Your Hands and Disinfect Commonly Used Objects

water, fish, shellfish
Jedd Marrero

"Wash your hands often, and disinfect your phone, laptop, table tops," Dr. Arnett said. "And don't share pillowcases, towels, and obviously drinks and utensils with anyone."

Getting rid of existing germs on your most often used objects will help you get better. Even if you're already sick, don't think that keeping germs will not make you worse. 

Healthy Diet

broccoli, garlic, salad
Tiare Brown

Lastly, he suggests following a healthy diet of "good fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates," to help keep your internal system going. Try these 20 that you can make in no time.

Hey, these doctors must know what they're talking about. Take these steps during cold season, or whenever you feel an itch in your throat, and in general, just take care of yourself.