In case you haven’t noticed, fall is here and winter is fast approaching. That means the weather is changing. For many Gramblinites, this is good because it gives students a chance to pull out all of those winter clothes or just get a whole new winter wardrobe altogether. But like all things, the good comes with the bad, which means it’s time for cold and flu season. In my personal opinion, the best way to avoid a cold is to get a life and not hang on the yard when it’s 50 degrees outside. For those who ignore this warning, there is still hope. Remedies and treatments are available and can help you through these next couple of frosty months.

One way to help many students stay germ free this season is to have a regular supply of orange juice on hand. This has a good amount of Vitamin C, which helps build up immune systems and fight infection.

If you start to cough, do not panic. A cough is the body’s way of getting rid of harmful elements that may be in the lungs. Excessive coughing is what we have to pay attention to. If you find yourself with harmful symptoms, try to talk to your teachers before class to avoid infecting classmates with the germs that your body is hosting.

According to Web MD, if you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant is what you need. If drainage, runny nose, postnasal drip or itchy watery eyes is your problem, then an antihistamine may save your life.

Over-the-counter antihistamines can often make people drowsy. Decongestants will make you hyper or keep you awake, so don’t take them before you go to the club or you’re going to be extra hype.

If going to a public place, be sure to bring some kind of hand sanitizer and take an immune system booster such as Airborne, which can be found in Wal-Mart for $5.

This will not keep you from being sick but it will help prevent those viruses by strengthening your immune system. Antihistamines can make mucus thick, and may not be a good idea for people with asthma. Also, the value of antihistamines in treating cold symptoms is under debate.

One must keep in mind that both these drugs may interact with other drugs you may be taking for conditions such as heart disease, and they may worsen some conditions.

Basically, if you choose to take over-the-counter medicine for your cold or not, you’ll get better in no later than a week. Although there is no cure for the common cold, rest and liquids are the best treatment to get rid of it. Antibiotics will not help.

However, nonprescription medicine has been reported to help relieve some cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion and cough. To be totally sure, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist which cold medication may be best for you.