How to Beat the Dreaded Freshers’ Flu


It is incredibly likely that over the course of the first few weeks at Uni you will experience some symptoms of ‘freshers’ flu’. In fact, it’s estimated that about ninety percent of students suffer from it in one form or another. How then, against the odds, can you avoid it? 

Freshers’ week is rated by some as the best week of their lives, and so it’s a shame for it to get tarnished by illness. Heavy partying, a poor diet and stress put a huge strain on our immune system, which is then bombarded by new germs. Freshers’ week is all about meeting new people, but an unfortunate by-product of meeting new people from all around the globe is that you are exposed to a large range of new germs that you have no immunity to. Finally, as if all that wasn’t enough, October is already known as a month with a large amount of seasonal illness. So, it sounds like you’re doomed. Is there even any point trying to avoid it? The good news is, it has been shown that with a little effort you can avoid being ill and fully enjoy your first term. The basic idea behind the prevention of freshers’ flu is to boost your immune system as much as possible to increase its chance of fighting infection.

Prevention and cures:

  • The first thing to do is eat as healthily as possible. It may be tempting to live off purely pizza, crisps and ready meals, but try to eat vegetables and fruit too. Just adding frozen peas to a ready meal can make all the difference. Cooking with new flatmates, although sometimes disastrous, can also be a lot of fun and a great way to make sure you eat some proper food.
  • Although still debated by some, many scientists believe vitamin C can help decrease your chances of getting ill. It has also been shown to shorten the length and severity of colds. As well as taking supplements, you can get vitamin C from a wide range of foods, hot chilli peppers and broccoli being two surprising examples.
  • It is also worth staying hydrated. As well as preventing a hangover in the morning, a pint of water after a heavy night can help you stay healthy.
  • Exercising, whether it’s jogging, swimming or playing a sport, can help boost your immune system.
  • Although the first few weeks can go by as a mad blur, it is worth snatching all the sleep you can get. If you’re too busy to sleep at night than catch up with a daytime nap.
  • Finally, it’s worth noting that you should register with a doctor. If you are worried you have caught something serious than definitely consult them.

At the end of the day, it is down to compromise and it may be worth eating some soup and letting yourself have the odd night in. If, however, you do decide that you’re not willing to sacrifice the constant partying and junk food and do end up running yourself into the ground, at least you can rest assured that you are not alone. Many other freshers all over the country will be recovering with coughs, colds and fevers. Good luck to you all and I hope you make the most of it!


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