The Reality of Freshers’ Flu

University isn’t all fun and (drinking) games…

There’s a lot to juggle when you first go to university: settling into a new place, meeting people, getting to grips with your course, remembering to feed and wash yourself, and of course a few nights out…

As a first-year student at university it is a rite of passage to go out every night of Freshers. Although this sounds like all fun and (drinking) games, getting pissed every night for a week/month/term comes with baggage, specifically Freshers’ Flu.

To those who live outside of the university bubble, Freshers’ Flu sounds like something students have made up to justify binning off their 9am lectures. Although this is correct to some degree, Freshers’ Flu is comprised of a whole lot of physical ailments as well as a large amount of self-pity. If you ask me, a three-time sufferer of the dreaded Freshers’ Flu, I think it’s a valid excuse for missing at least a week of lectures.

While Freshers’ Flu isn’t the end of the world, it definitely feels like it. Hitting you at the most inconvenient of times, it is not ideal to be feeling crap when you have so much going on, so many people to meet, so many introduction lectures and so many nights out! Freshers’ Flu is caused by what can only be described as a dodgy cocktail of factors. From a string of late nights to not eating a vegetable for a week, all the fun of Freshers can really take it out of you and a huge percentage of students fall ill in the first few weeks of university.  So how do we avoid this fresh hell?

Despite how much of a boozy legend you think you are, our livers weren’t built to drink 8 VKs on the daily. Try and pace yourself if you start feeling a bit run down. Taking a night or two off the sauce wouldn’t be the worst thing.

It’s the first week of uni and you haven’t quite figured out how to cook pasta yet, so a takeaway is the only option. Okay fair enough, but try and include a fruit or a vegetable here and there so you get your daily dose of vitamins. Vitamin C in particular will boost your immune system and help fight off nasty germs. And no, that vodka orange juice you had at pres does not count. Despite thinking vitamins were a placebo, two weeks into my first year when all my housemates were dropping like Freshers’ Flu-infected flies I was still standing, albeit hopped-up on Vitamin C and Omega 3.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Just because the club is still going at 4am doesn’t mean you have to be. If you know you’re going to be the last one on the dance floor, make sure you take a nap that afternoon so you don’t fully exhaust yourself.

An obvious one is washing your hands regularly, not just after going to the loo. Just think about how many people have coughed into their hands and touched the doorknob you’ve just used. Gross. As well as this, it is a good idea to wash your bed sheets, clothes and tea towels often to avoid spreading germs further. Another way to stop the spread of germs would be to not neck-on with everyone you see, no matter how fit they are.

When I’m ill, the only thing I want is to be in my own bed with a cuppa and a good film. Feeling rubbish away from home makes being ill an even more difficult and emotional time. So, if all else fails, don’t be afraid to call your mum for some extra TLC.