It’s Freshers’ Week. You’re unwrapping up cutlery that will eventually be missing by Christmas, you’ve RSVPed to a month’s worth of socials and nights out, and you can’t decide whether you’ve packed too many shoes or not enough. Sadly, it is more than likely that you’ll end up changing your status to “not attending” four days in. And here’s why.
‘Fresher’s Flu’ is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms including a sore throat, tiredness, fever and shivering. Although no one is sure what exactly causes this phenomenon, it’s pretty obvious that a mix of meeting hoards people from all over, having to cook for yourself, and going out night after night means that campus looks more like a scene from ‘The Walking Dead’ than it did in the brochure.
So, how do you give yourself the best chance of steering clear of Freshers’ Flu? Here are some suggestions.
Avoid ordering a third pitcher…
Three VKs for £5 sounds good in theory, but you will definitely feel it the next morning. Alcohol will leave you dehydrated and tired, which can make Freshers’ Flu even more unbearable than it needs to be. Try alternating between water and alcoholic drinks on a night out to avoid waking up feeling like you’ve eaten a bag of sand.
This year I'm taking freshers flu seriously. 1 month in advance and I'm already bulk buying vitamins and drinking Berocca
— Alice Hannnah (@Aliceee_Hannah) August 19, 2017
GO. TO. BED.
Sure, the nights out end at 3am, but getting enough sleep is key to making sure you can keep up with the action. Your body needs to rest in order to best fight against illness, as well as to deal with all the hustle and bustle of Freshers’ Week. Maybe missing your 9am is for the greater good.
McDonald’s isn’t always a good idea.
While an extra-large portion of cheesy chips is delicious, it’s not exactly nutritious. A balanced diet is a little harder to maintain when your mum isn’t around to make sure you eat your greens, but putting in the time will pay off. Research some simple meals that you can actually make (besides a mountain of pasta), and avoid rotating through your local takeaways for the first three weeks.
When it's week 11 and you still have freshers flu pic.twitter.com/LGd4JGs50u
— Emily Ward (@thisspecialkid) November 14, 2016
Make the pharmacy your home
You could have the best #fitspo Instagram, but Freshers’ Flu doesn’t care how many times you share your #cleaneating, it will get you. You might as well embrace the inevitability of catching something and stock up on painkillers, vitamins, and every kind of throat soother you can find within a three-mile radius. At least it will keep you feeling somewhat human when you wake up under a pile of tissues.
Unfortunately, you’ll most likely catch whatever it is that is going around during Freshers’ Week. Bioinformatician and lecturer at the University of Lancaster, Dr Gatherer suggests:
“If you do go down with it, there is little you can do other than stay hydrated and get through it. Not going out will help to avoid spreading it to other people.”
So, don’t neglect your bed for the first fortnight, and appreciate the ability to breathe through your nose while you still can.