Wednesday, December 6, 2023

How to stay healthy in the dorms

September 2, 2021
<p>A quad style dorm room in Akers Hall photographed on Feb. 25, 2020.</p>

A quad style dorm room in Akers Hall photographed on Feb. 25, 2020.

Photo by Jack Falinski | The State News

With the return of students to a full capacity campus and COVID-19 on the rise again, there are many tips and tricks students can use to stay healthy living in the dorms.

From hand-washing to mask-wearing, we’ve been hearing practices to help limit potential exposures to the COVID-19 virus. 

As of Aug. 1, MSU requires masks indoors on campus for all individuals. The COVID-19 vaccination is also required for all students, faculty and staff. Students that are granted medical or religious exemptions from the vaccination will be required to partake in the Early Detection Program — COVID-19 saliva test kits that track exposure and catch COVID-19 prior to any shown symptoms.   These rules were implemented with the goal of protecting the health and safety of all Spartans. 

“My priority has been to protect our campus and surrounding communities as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, using data and science-based information to inform every decision,” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a July 30 email to the Spartan community. 

Michigan State University’s Residential and Hospitality Services, or RHS, is now implementing new cleaning and disinfecting protocols in all residential and dining buildings across campus. RHS plans to have two levels of disinfecting, one with emphasis on spaces not suspected of COVID-19 transmission and another level to disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 

Besides the university’s precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, there are many tips students can implement to stay on top of their health while living in a dorm. 

While hand washing and social distancing can help in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the following tips and tricks can help your body feel stronger and healthier as you head into the new school year. 


A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and protein helps increase students’ energy levels, boosts their immune systems and ability to deal with stress. MSU dining halls offer a variety of foods across all food groups that can help a person keep a balanced diet. 

To view the dining halls’ daily menus, check out the Michigan State University mobile app

Exercise daily

A 2014 research study at MSU found that there’s a link between daily exercise and higher GPAs. Daily exercise is linked to keeping the immune system strong and reducing stress. 

Sleep schedule

According to the American College Health Association, “sleep difficulties” ranks third on the list of factors that impact students’ academics. Improving sleep patterns and having a consistent sleep schedule boosts the immune system and improves retention of information, having a direct impact on learning. 

Mental Health

Being a college student — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — can be stressful. 

Prioritizing your mental health, practicing self care and taking care of your body are all crucial to your overall health. MSU’s Olin Center offers Counseling and Psychiatric Services where students can meet with a licensed professional, partake in group counseling or contact crisis services when needed. 

For more information, visit

This article is a part of our Welcome Week print issue. The full issue can be viewed here.

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