By Molly Govus
Freshers’ comes with many highs and lows, but one of the lowest of lows is the dreaded Freshers’ flu. We’ve all been there; safe to say, it is not the most pleasant of experiences. It may not be fun to endure, but it is, unfortunately, an inevitable part of starting or coming back to university. When thousands of people come back to Cardiff from their home environments, there are sure to be repercussions.
The number one reason for Fresher’s flu to arise is due to the increase of social interaction between people. The start of the year at university is full of meetings, socials and mingling; it is what makes first term so fun and enjoyable to some, so don’t feel like you need to cut this out. Nevertheless, on a serious note, some peers and friends may be carrying viruses and germs from their home environment that you’re not immune to which makes the perfect nesting place for the fresher’s flu. One of the most important things to do is to use your common sense; cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, wash your hands when needed and it could be a good idea to keep hand sanitizer in your bag for times that you may need it.
In this situation, your immune system is your number one friend. You need to treat your immune system like your lifeline; look after it as it looks after you. One thing that all university students have in common is a lack of sleep. Ensure that you are getting the recommended 8 hours a night; partying until late followed by early morning lectures will not help your immune system. If you don’t feel alive, how can you expect your immune system to be awake and fighting off viruses? The same lesson stands for excessive alcohol and junk food consumption; naturally, it is a part of university life, but being able to limit the intake of these things allows for the body to achieve ultimate performance in order to maintain health.
You may think that the dreaded flu comes only from physical factors, but psychological factors play a huge role in how our body combats virus and illness. University can be a stressful time for everyone, but the body and the mind work in unison and it is important to look after both our mental health and physical health equal amounts. Make sure that you are looking after yourself and listen to your body when things get stressful; it’s okay to go at your own pace.
The Fresher’s flu can be a nasty addition to the beginning of term, but with a few pointers, a bit of common sense and a lot of self-care, you’ll be sure to nip it in the bud.