Incoming TCNJ class of 2021, we are all excited. We are starting our new endeavors, moving on to bigger things so that we can obtain the better things in life. We are, for most of us, finally on our own. We are to be the ones that say when to sleep, we dictate what work needs to be done and when, and what we do when we go out.

Now comes the coughing, the sneezing, the dreaded sore throat. Suddenly we realize that we have not gone to the doctor since getting the required shots for school. At college, you will come across people who, probably similarly to you, are forgetting to take care of their health. This is important. There’s nothing like being sick as a dog and knowing you only have one more unexcused absence left for the class you have tonight or that the extra curricular activity happening tomorrow will only happen once every few years. While it is easy for check ups at the doctor to be forgotten (and intentionally avoided), there are plenty of things that you could do to help keep up with your health.

1 – Drink Orange Juice 

The vitamin c in the juice allows for a boost in immune system, allowing the antibodies in your system to be stronger and naturally fight off anything coming your way. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good glass of juice?

2 – Get Fresh Air 

Sitting alone in one closed off room all day is not good for your health. Not only does that restrict you from getting any exercise, it causes you to be constantly breathing in the same, stagnant, recycled air. This air could be filled with whatever toxins you are breathing out, plus probably doesn’t smell very good. Fresh air can allow you to feel refreshed and give your body exposures to the allergens outside, which when make contact with the immune system, can help it to build up immunity to seasonal allergies.  

3 – Move, Get Some Exercise

Workout, attend yoga classes, go for runs and walks, do anything, just do not sit still. Sitting still can once again cause a stagnant in the air, but it also makes your muscles tight which cause for cramping. Exercise, to any extent, is known to improve health anyway, and there are a lot of college students who forget to move between classes and homework. Just find any small exercise, even if it is just taking a slightly longer route to class.

4 – Eat (Moderately) Healthy 

You are what you eat, or at least you at least feel what you eat. I don’t think anyone has felt that bad after eating a salad, but after eating all the heavy, greasy food, I know my stomach gives me a hard time. Be aware of what you’re eating because it will affect how you feel. While college dining hall food is not ideal, there are ways to make your meals a little better. Try ensuring that you eat some form of a vegetable every day. The vitamins in vegetables ensure healthy growing patterns and the development of the brain (which you’re using a lot, because you know, college). It is okay to eat junk sometimes, but remember that it is junk. Your body may be almost fully developed, but it still needs nourishment.

5 – Sleep 

This is something people often forget to do – especially on weekends. It’s a little easier to keep track during the week, because of the mild structure we have with classes, but often, kids go out to party and forget that their bodies need sleep in order to function properly. This does involve some time management, in which there are resources that can help you to figure out when things can get done and how much time should be spent doing it. Plus, there’s nothing like getting up and dragging yourself to that 8 am class after pulling an all nighter trying to write a paper for class.

6 – Go to the Doctor 

It doesn’t have to be on that regular schedule your mom used to have when you were little, but just consider that, if you are dorming, you live in very close quarters with other people and failure to ensure your own health, puts others at risk. Simply go and get the proper care when you do not feel well and when the season comes, get your vaccines. This will make sure you stay at the top of your game in staying healthy!


Samantha Leigh

Studying at TCNJ as an art student of the class of 2021.

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