Along with the approach of blustery days, sweater weather, cooler temperatures and trips to the apple orchard, the fall season also brings the flu season. Runny noses rampantly spread across Grand Valley State University’s campus and students miss more classes, instead being stranded in bed with chills, fatigue and nausea. The flu can be prevented though. The pounding headaches, high fevers and sore throats can all be avoided with a quick shot. However, many college students don’t get their annual flu shot despite the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that everyone ages six months and older should get one every season.

This should be especially easy for GVSU students since the Kirkhof College of Nursing is offering flu vaccines next week. The clinic will be open to GVSU employees and students Monday through Wednesday. If the convenience isn’t enough to motivate you, maybe these statistics will help. According to a study done by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and the University of Minnesota, in addition to a 30 percent reduction in chances of contracting an influenza illness, vaccinated students are 47 percent less likely to visit a doctor for the flu, 32 percent less likely to miss class and 47 percent less likely to do poorly on a test. Those sound like pretty good odds, or at least a fighting chance at escaping flu season unscathed.

It can be especially important for college students and professors to get a flu shot, because we are constantly around other people. Professors, think of how many germs could be on those homework assignments you just collected. Students, do you really want to think about the last time you disinfected the counters in your room? Being in an environment surrounded by so many other people, it is imperative that members of the GVSU community do everything in their power to protect themselves from the flu.

Unless you’re planning on living in a bubble for the next few weeks, go get your flu shot. You don’t want the flu, and we don’t want your cough and runny nose infecting the rest of us.