Staying so fresh, so clean

College campuses (and dorms in particular) can be quite filthy places. Germs are everywhere, spreading with ease through cramped lecture halls, public bathrooms, cafeterias and shared laboratories, causing a wide range of illnesses.

The control and prevention of disease is a social problem, not a personal one. Good hygiene is an obligation you have to society. We all have to take part to ensure the health of those around us. College students are generally among the healthiest people in society. Unfortunately, this can lead many to feel a sense of invincibility. Even if you aren’t worried about getting sick, be sure to consider those of us who are more vulnerable to disease the next time you decide to leave the bathroom without washing your hands.

General Hygiene Tips

To ensure that you prevent the physical complications associated with poor hygiene, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Bathe daily. Taking a regular bath or shower is vital (yet there always seems to be at least one guy in your class who avoids soap like it’s the plague). Scrubbing your body with soap not only removes the dirt and oil that amass over the course of each day, but it also helps remove dead skin.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Hands carry a lot of bacteria. Make sure that you wash your hands before and after you prepare food, use the bathroom or touch public items (such as a communal keyboard in a computer lab). Scrub your hands for thirty seconds using hot water and soap. Many students like to keep hand sanitizer with them for times when no sink is available.
  • Don’t forget your nails. Bacteria can thrive under long fingernails. Keep your nails trimmed, or if you choose to grow them for aesthetic purposes, keep them clean.
  • Keep your kitchen clean. Never use dirty cooking utensils and always use proper food storage practices. Take out your trash frequently.
  • Use public showers with care. When using the shared showers in a dormitory, wear flip-flop sandals and keep all your shower items (soap, shampoo, etc.) together so that no one else touches them. Many students buy a plastic or metal basket called a “shower caddy” that allows them to easily transport their toiletries back and forth from their room to the shower.
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