• Imogen Bowlt

How to survive the dreaded fresher's flu

Updated: Oct 11

The worst part of Freshers (and university in general) is becoming ill – and the dreaded fresher's flu is back with a vengeance this year.

It was given its name for a reason. Just one week of partying and nobody is immune. I, myself, have been suffering from an awful cough recently (which probably has not been appreciated by the neighbours) as a result.

Unfortunately, without a bubble suit or a foolproof way to make zero contact with everyone else, all students are likely to get it in some form. Quite frankly, it is unavoidable.

From thousands of students going drinking, sweaty clubs and packed lecture halls, germs spread quickly during a regular university year. Of course, the fear of fresher's flu being Covid is not helping anybody – with the general advice suggesting you take tests just to be safe.

Other causes of this absolute pain of an illness include the amount of alcohol being consumed, stress from the changing circumstances and a poor diet. It's no wonder we are all suffering!

So, what to can you do to combat freshers flu?

Sleep: This is easier said than done when trying to balance everything that is thrown at you at the start of a new academic year. From societies to lectures, getting eight hours of sleep is a fantasy to many. But getting some proper rest will help you to recover faster. If you can’t get a full night’s sleep all at once, the classic fresher's daytime nap is the way to go!

Wear a mask: Coughing and sneezing is all you can hear in the background of lecture theatres at the moment – at least you know you’re not alone in your ailments! But, since the fear of Covid is still prevalent, it's a good idea to wear a mask to make yourself or others around you feel more comfortable.

Drink water: Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to remember when you're not feeling 100%, but yet it's so easy to forget. You should never feel thirsty!

Keep comfy: It can be tiring and uncomfortable to have fresher's flu, so make sure you make it as easy to cope with as you can. No-one will blame you for cosying up in your room with a heated blanket, eating comfort food and watching Netflix for a few hours.

Eat nutritious food: We're not suggesting you boycott all of your favourite fast food and sweet treats, but balance this with some home-cooked food with lots of vegetables and fresh produce. It also works out cheaper, in the long run, to cook for yourself.

Lastly, here is your survival kit, filled with the essentials you'll need to get yourself through fresher's flu:

  • Paracetamol

  • Vitamin C tablets

  • Tissues – keep some on you at all times for convenience!

  • Strepsils and cough sweets

  • Tea

  • Comfy clothes

  • Hot water bottle

Hopefully these tips will get you safely through next year's round of this unavoidable illness.

Edited by Tia Xiourouppas

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