What You Can Do to Prevent Hearing Loss
First, assess your hearing. Each year both the Wellness Center and the Conservatory bring in audiologists to provide free hearing tests. Sign up and find out if you have any hearing issues.
Second, now that you know that both the loudness of the sound and the length of exposure impact the potential hearing damage, be aware of your sound environment and don't be afraid to protect yourself. Fingers in one's ears are still an amazingly effective form of hearing protection for the random siren, jack hammer, or drum solo. Better yet pick up a pair or two of free foam ear plugs at either the Wellness Center or the Conservatory, and then use them!
For musicians the Con also carries musician's earplugs as wholesale cost (around $8.00). These lower the decibel levels without causing a muffled sound. No musician in the Con should be without a pair or two.
Third, remove yourself from situations that can cause hearing damage. Distance from the sound source has a large impact on the decibel level of the sound. That's why standing in front of the speakers at a stadium concert is much more dangerous than sitting 100 yards away.
Hearing damage cannot be reversed, so do whatever you can now to protect your future listening experiences.