By Vanessa Hagen | Contributor
It’s the time of year where seats are empty in classes due to students being sick. Students spend a lot of time together and usually live in close quarters, so the flu spreads quickly.
It seems students don’t realize how important flu shots are. As a senior, I have noticed flu season hits campus every year, and students need to be more aware of how to prevent it.
Growing up, most kids got flu shots because their parents told them to. However, at college, parents are not here to enforce it. Students are busy and don’t take the necessary precautions to stay healthy.
Last year, I didn’t get the flu shot and got very sick in November. I had to skip a week of classes and was very behind and extra stressed right before finals. If I had been better educated about the flu and flu shots, I would have gotten one in order to save myself from the inconveniences that came from it later.
Flu season is roughly October to February – a time filled with finals, trips home and social events like formals. Students are most stressed during these times and don’t get enough sleep or eat healthy foods. They are especially susceptible to the flu and need to be reminded how important it is to take care of themselves.
Students commonly think they are not contagious if they do not have symptoms. However, this is not true. The flu is highly contagious even on day one, and if they go to class while contagious, it is likely to spread.
Symptoms of the flu commonly include fever, cough, fatigue, body ache and chills. These symptoms are tough on students, and they are unable to function normally.
The flu has complications such as pneumonia or ear and sinus infections. This is largely preventable by the flu shot. If more students were educated about the potential illnesses and where to get the shot, they would be more likely to do it. This would ultimately lead to a healthier campus.
Students should want to get the flu shot in order to keep themselves healthy but also those around them. It is not an individual issue; thousands of people get the flu each year.
There are many places in Waco that offer the flu shot. It is available at Walgreens, CVS and the Baylor Clinic. These are all very close to campus and usually offer free or very inexpensive shots.
Students — get your flu shots and keep you and your peers healthy.
Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Senior marketing major