Fresher’s Flu: The Ultimate Survival Guide

Blowing NoseWelcome, freshers one and all! I’m sure you’re all super excited for lectures to begin so that you can start working hard like a real responsible student… but not until Fresher’s week is over.

However you decide to spend your first week, there are a few things that will most likely happen: You’ll make hundreds of ‘new friends’ but never speak to most of them again once lectures begin; fear of missing out will make you do some ridiculous things; oh, and you’ll most likely get really sick at some point.

Fresher’s flu is the troublesome illness that plagues around 90% of freshers in their first few weeks at University. In reality just a bad cold, symptoms include fever, sore throat, coughing, general discomfort, and severe headache. It might not sound so bad but if Fresher’s is going to be your first time coping without parents, it could really knock you sideways.

What is it about Fresher’s Week that’s so lethal? Well… all of it, really. It’s believed that late nights, early starts, poor diet, excessive drinking, and meeting new people from lots of different places all predispose first years to falling ill. Combine that with the psychological stress of flying the nest and before you know it, you’ll be rocking up to your first anatomy session with a runny nose and a cough violent enough to make the entire Stopford Building quake.

Honestly, you won’t be able to properly hear most of the introductory lectures over the noise of everyone’s coughing. If anything, it’s a way to test your new friendships. If they can sit next to you for an hour without so much as an eye-roll while you sit there coughing up your lungs, they’re proper friend material.

So how can you avoid fresher’s flu? Or at least build up your strength so that when it hits, you’ll still be able to function as a regular human? Obviously getting plenty of sleep, eating a balanced diet, and keeping the alcohol consumption to a sensible level are all off the cards for most of you. With that in mind, here’s some advice that you might take – disclaimer, I’m not a doctor yet!

First off, water is your friend. Not only will it help to ease hangover suffering, but keeping hydrated could help you to get better sooner if you fall ill. It’s also a good idea to eat vaguely healthily. Some fruit? Maybe a vegetable? It will make all the difference.

Also, though the jury’s still out on whether vitamin supplements actually do any good, I am a fan of a Berocca. Whether or not they actually do anything, you can’t deny that having one with your breakfast really wakes you up.

Thirdly, listen to what your body’s telling you! If you think you’re coming down with something, don’t feel like you have to go on this or that night out. Trust me, you won’t miss out on too much bonding.

Lastly, whatever your plans are, have fun and stay safe!

Olivia Ford
Social Media Lead