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Editorial: Crafting your own survival guide

Hopefully no matter how students spent their spring break, they returned to campus at least marginally more well rested. After a bitterly long, snow-filled winter and exposure to health risks inherent on college campuses, a week away from College Hill — or at least a week without class — is truly merited. As students return to campus and face what will hopefully be the murmurings of spring, they should consider their lifestyles more carefully. As difficult as it is to stay healthy as a student, lifestyle choices can pose serious risks to one’s well being.

As students, we are incessantly busy. The flurry of activity on campus — hours spent working on a senior thesis, running across campus to make a series of meetings, all-nighters in the SciLi to study for a midterm exam — knows no limits. Caught in the whirlwind, it is difficult for students to slow down, catch their breath, and take a few moments to relax and recharge. Especially on a campus as high-powered and dynamic as Brown’s, without a conscious effort to extricate themselves from the madness, students can torment themselves by comparing their work ethic, social prowess or general success to those around them. What’s more, college campuses are rampant with viruses and bacteria. Last month, Providence College Health Center confirmed in a statement that two students had contracted meningococcal meningitis. The flu, as it is every year, is also a concern, particularly at colleges in the Providence area.

Part of an undergraduate education is learning how to take care of oneself. While life as a student is quite unique, life after Brown is likely to pose similar strains, so it is necessary to pick up certain survival skills as soon as possible. How to feed oneself, how to sleep enough and how to stay mentally and physically healthy top the list. No matter how much you talk on the phone, parents are no longer in close enough proximity to make sure you have met your proverbial vegetable quota at the end of each day. Given campus’ close quarters, taking care of oneself in all of these respects is, at the bare minimum, the first step towards warding off potential illnesses. Of course, there is no guarantee, but getting eight hours of sleep or spending an hour alone to ease one’s mind can only help in warding off sickness and stress with everything else happening on College Hill.

What too often goes unsaid is that looking after one’s health takes time — time that should be spent, even if it means putting off academic work. If you’re feeling ill, make an appointment at Health Services. It is not worth it to wait. Squeezing all you can out of your four undergraduate years is only possible if you feel strong enough. There is no Brown survival guide, but if you take the time, you can write your own.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Alexander Kaplan ’15 and James Rattner ’15, and its members, Natasha Bluth ’15, Manuel Contreras ’16, Baxter DiFabrizio ’15, Mathias Heller ’15 and Aranshi Kumar ’17. Send comments to


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