In the quaint little town of Chapel Hill, nestled in the bucolic milieu, is a population of millions that are oft neglected, or at least until they cause a commotion.
They roam freely in the lounges, the bathrooms, the classrooms, the dining halls — they are everywhere. They don’t pay tuition or taxes or dues of any sort. Their only contribution to society is the misery they evoke. They are everyone’s enemy, regardless of race, class or social status.
They are oh-so sick nasty germs.
It doesn’t take a biology major to see that college is a festering cesspool — a susceptible immune system’s worst nightmare.
When I visit the computer lab and feel the revolting slick from filthy fingers on the keyboards, I wonder if a world without such sanitary hazards is possible.
Though a sense of community warms the heart and feeds the soul, it also successfully turns doorknobs, keyboards, sink handles, chairs, pencils, toilet flushes, railings and even high fives into incubators of yuckiness.
Colleges (and especially dorm rooms) are known for being dirtier than the average environment in this country because they are high-traffic areas occupied by students who don’t have their moms to clean up after them. It’s especially true for students living in a dorm environment for the first time.
The number of germs in our ranks is as many as would be expected in a human population of this density. The image of a scruffy college student roughing it out has created an especially dirty perception. With college brings a rather overwhelming fear of germs.
I would not have a problem with germs if they didn’t pose the threat of getting me sick before finals. What makes everything worse for us as students is that stress makes humans more prone to disease and exacerbates illness. And what an unfortunate coincidence that exam week comes during flu season.