GIANTmicrobes Go To College

Microbes Go To College
by guest blogger Sonia Rose, sophomore at Colorado College

As a college student and GIANTmicrobes fan, I want to share some truths about what really goes on with microbes in college. While my brain cells are firing more than ever, there are microbial factors that have slowed my body down at times. With the school year just starting, the 20 minute walk between classes makes my muscle cells contract more than they’re used to. The soreness goes away pretty quickly. Living with a roommate means two microbiomes sharing a very tight dorm space. No matter how many times one of us covers our coughs, washes our hands or keeps to ourselves, the chances of not spreading germs is very low. Common cold came and went in February. When I had a sore throat and stomach ache after cramming for midterms, guess who else got the same symptoms? Luckily these were simple health problems and our antibodies and white blood cells kicked into action.

It’s important to keep in mind what you can and cannot control. When you sleep four feet away from someone else, there’s only so much you can do to avoid invading microbes. After my freshman year I can share some lifestyle changes I plan for my sophomore year. The dreaded freshman fifteen may be an overstatement, but I have definitely come across Saccharomyces cerevisiae (bread and beer yeast) on some nights out. Watching my carbs and a few other dietary changes this year should make the fat cells in my body happy enough. I also hope to avoid Propionibacterium acnes (pimples) too by cutting back on candy and cake. Eating some yummy Lactobacillus bulgaricus and other live bacteria in yogurt has always worked well for me! Healthy meals will also help me avoid debilitating microbes like Bacillus cereus, Salmonella typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni. I’ll be free of food poisoning, salmonella, and diarrhea. Lastly, I must bring up the threat of extremely nasty viruses and bacteria in the STD category. As adorable as they appear as GIANTmicrobes their symptoms and potential bodily effects are not cute at all. In college I’ll simply laugh at the Tainted Love gift box, but avoid real life tainted love. Eating and sleeping well, exercising, and taking proper precautions from threatening microbes will let me get the most out of college. Just like GIANTmicrobes, college life is full of education and fun. There are simple ways to enjoy these new experiences, changes, and all the microbes. Peace out microbe fans, and have a healthy college year!