Starting college, a new semester, or returning to school after a hiatus can effect not only your mental health but your physical health as well. Practicing good personal hygiene can go a long way to prevent yourself from becoming ill during what can often be a stressful time. What is personal hygiene anyway?
Hygiene is defined as a comprehensive plan for preserving personal and community health in all its dimensions. Implementing such practices are particularly important on college campuses where students often live in close quarters and move from one building or classroom to another every day.
Some people have rarely traveled before leaving home to go to college. In contrast, universities often draw students from around the globe. People who have grown up in different cultures are used to different hygiene practices. Regardless of culture or habit, there are some key habits and precautions that every student can take to avoid illness.
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There are many things to remember to bring when leaving for college. There are a few essential items to pack items that will help you create a healthful environment for yourself and others. Proper clothing and bedding are important for your personal comfort.
Pack appropriate seasonal clothing including clothes that you can layer for winter, change quickly from warm to cold and vice-versa. And if you’re going to a place such as Manipal, appropriate monsoon wear, including galoshes, rain coats and wide umbrellas! Comfortable walking shoes
Bring enough clean bedding to keep warm including:
- Twin size comforter
- Extra long twin size sheets
- Bed pillows
- Extra blanket
- Mattress cover or foam pad for added comfort
Once you arrive on campus you’ll need to clean your dorm room (there are people to help you out with it) or apartment on a regular, basis to get rid of bacteria and other germs. It doesn’t take long for germs to build up on seemingly clean household surfaces. Research shows that bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illness can be found on many surfaces especially counter tops, sinks, dish cloths and sponges, fridge shelves, entryways, toilet bowl and toilet surface. A good rule thumb is to focus cleaning on food contact surfaces, including the ‘fridge & microwave (if you’re staying outside the campus), bathroom & toilet surfaces and shared hand contact surfaces such as key boards and desk tops. A few things you’ll need include to keep your new home clean include:
- Hand Vacuum
- Paper towels
- Soap or bleach and water solution
- Laundry basket/hamper
- Laundry cleaning supplies— When washing clothes, it is important to use a laundry detergent to rid the clothes of odor, soil, dirt, and bacteria.
- Drying rack—avoid putting clothes away damp which can invite mildew and mold.
- Wash your bedding regularly to remove debris and avoid dust mites.