Beat the Heat

Christina Nugent

Even after you have been dismissed from class, you’re hesitant to leave. You find yourself checking your mailbox every few hours, simply because the Student Center is air conditioned. You’ll walk randomly around campus for the slight breeze, and actually do your homework on time, frequenting the library – any excuse to stay out of the dorms.
It’s difficult to comprehend how you can break a sweat sitting at your desk, checking your Facebook, or how lounging on your futon, watching TV can be uncomfortable. How much you can dread going to sleep, knowing that you’ll wake up with your sheets stuck to your legs in the morning. How your seven fans only move the warm air in your room around, and the temperature of your dorm feels about ten degrees hotter than the temperature outside.
Unfortunately for many Quinnipiac University students, summer’s sticky heat came along with their arrival for the fall semester.
“Sometimes it gets unbearably hot to the point where you cannot do work in your own room,” said sophomore Corrie Vancour, a Diagnostic Imaging major.
But not only is the heat inconvenient, there are medical conditions associated with being too hot for too long. Some common conditions are Heat exhaustion, dehydration, and Prickly Heat, also known as miliaria. Some symptoms of Heat Exhaustion are dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and headaches, as well as the obvious – excessive sweating. According to Merck Manuals, an online global research-driven pharmaceutical company, Prickly Heat is “an itchy skin rash caused by trapped sweat.”
“It started on my arms then spread to my stomach and legs,” said one student who had acquired this condition. “It’s like a sharp itch,” she says of the rash, “and it gets really bad after I exercise.” When I asked her if she’d ever had anything like this before, she replied, “Never. First time ever. Never even heard of it.”
Prickly heat forms when the sweat glands are clogged, and therefore the sweat gets trapped below the skin. The condition usually appears as little blisters on the skin, or a red patchy rash. So if you think have Prickly Heat, what can you do about it? The answer is quite simple- discontinue activities that make you sweat more, such as exercising. The most important thing is to keep the skin cool and dry.
Even if you don’t have any heat-related illnesses, the temperature combined with the humidity can feel just as miserable. While there is no sure fire way to beat the heat, you can do a little to make the weather slightly more bearable. First – and the most obvious – open your windows! Second, invest in a rather large window fan. It’s great for circulating the air that comes from outside- regular fans only push the warm air in your dorm around. Remember to not physically out do yourself, and take frequent cold showers. Finally, buy some popsicles, ice cream, and drink lots of water.
The weather is never predictable, but one thing is for sure, August is over, and September has already proved to be cooler. So buy that fan, some Rocky Road, and hang in there. When you’re sitting on your futon, in front of your new fan, eating ice cream out of the carton, just think how much this weather will be missed when we’re all freezing in December.