Washing hands: Not just for employees anymore

Here?s some good advice for the TOC/BOC: when you meet a recruiter, be sure to greet him or her with a good, firm handshake ?? not the flu.

This should seem like common sense, but so often we overlook obvious things that could prevent us from spreading germs and illness. Every day, people blow their noses, pet strange dogs, touch banisters, keyboards, and doorknobs, and then touch someone else without washing their hands. It may seem odd to think that something as easy as using a little soap and water could drastically reduce the number of head colds in the nation, but consider this: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number one way to prevent infections is handwashing.

Remember in kindergarten when you all got to take turns at the sink after eating snack? As college students, we?ve become so caught up in academics, activities, and jobs that we can forget the simple lessons we were taught as children. Think about what college is: It?s a closely packed environment where everyone shares the same resources, like bathrooms, water fountains, kitchens, and dining tables. That kid down the hall with the sniffles will give it to his roommate, who will give it to his girlfriend, who will give it to her project partner, who will give it to the rest of her floor. In the case of a runny nose or a sore throat, getting sick is an inconvenience, but something like mononucleosis or bronchitis is crippling to a busy student.

Still think handwashing is trivial? Tell that to the number of organizations worldwide like the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing and the American Society for Microbiology, who hosts a website named Every state?s health department has a tutorial on correct handwashing. It?s a major part of a health curriculum for elementary-school students, and for workers in the food industry or doctors, failing to wash their hands could have disastrous consequences. Take it seriously.

However, you shouldn?t skulk around eyeing everyone as though they?re nothing more than walking vessels for disease. The nice thing about handwashing is that it?s as easy as, well, rubbing your hands together. Just keep in mind what you could be getting from ? and giving to ? your neighbors.

Especially if your neighbor is your potential employer.