Starting uni is the greatest time of the year for students up and down the country. But it’s also a major breeding ground for “freshers flu” and let us be the first to tell you, it ain’t fun.
Freshers flu is the absolute worst, and it’s an illness that pretty much everyone gets when they first start uni. We’ve got your back though, we’ll tell you how to avoid getting sick and what to do if you do come down with freshers flu.
What Is Freshers Flu?
So what is freshers week flu? Freshers flu, sometimes called the freshers plague, for a good reason. It’s a pretty common illness that often hits first-year university students during their first few weeks of term.
For those of you that don’t know, freshers flu sums up the wave of colds and bugs that spread like wildfire through student halls and universities everywhere, when the first term of the year begins.
It’s the start of the year, you’re meeting loads of new people. The sad side of it is that you’ll be exposed to new strains of bacteria that your immune system hasn’t had a chance to fight before. Nightmare.
Symptoms of Freshers Flu
Despite the name, freshers flu is slightly different from the actual flu, or influenza. Symptoms aren’t as bad, we’re all just drama queens and can’t cope with getting ill in the first few weeks of a new year. Any excuse to avoid uni work eh!
So what are the symptoms, how bad is it going to get, will you pull through? The short version, yes. You’ll be okay. You might have the freshers flu if…
- You have a headache or your muscles are achey
- You have a sore throat, or a dry cough
- Your nose is blocked or runny
- You feel generally groggy, weak or tired
- You feel feverish or are shivering
- You feel sick or nauseous
- You have a reduced appetite
How Long Does Freshers Flu Last?
For most of you, freshers flu will last around 3-5 days, but often lasts up to 2 weeks.
It’s pretty similar to a common cold, but we’re all dramatic and know it’s so much worse. Send help please! You’ll pull through it though.
It’s standard to be tired, a little weaker than you would be at home thanks to your mum’s cooking, and you might be a little hungover. All these things will knock back your recovery time.
What Causes Freshers Flu?
The main cause for freshers flu is mostly the fact that you’re all of a sudden surrounded by loads of new faces from all corners of the country.
The germs picked up by individuals from different parts of the country are to an extent localised, and when you’re exposed to these different germs, it can get pretty mad.
The hardest part about it is that because they have built up some resistance to those germs, they wouldn’t necessarily be showing symptoms when you get exposed to them.
The exposure to these different germs, combined with a lack of sleep, poor diet, hangovers, and stress, all lead to you being more susceptible to pick the bug up!
Freshers Flu Cures & Preventions
For those of you wondering how to get over freshers flu fast, we got what you need to know. It’s nothing surprising, but you need to keep yourself strong to fight off the germs. These rules will also help prevent you catching it in the first place. Win win.
To get over your illness, you need to feed your body with nutrients to get you fighting fit. Freshly cooked meals with all your fruit and veg will put you on the right track. Remember to Keep yourself hydrated so you’re constantly flushing out all of those freshers’ flu toxins from your weakened body. Sadly though, that means avoiding junk food, ready meals, and take aways. Sorry, we know it’ll be tough.
Stay Away From Alcohol & Tobacco
I know, it puts a mega downer on your freshers parties and student nights out, but alcohol and cigarettes seriously knock your immune system down. Steer clear of these two, and give yourself the best chance of a fast recovery.
Cold & Flu Medication
These only relieve the symptoms of your freshers flu, and so don’t necessarily cure it, but honestly, it’s a life saver! Whether it’s tablets, capsules, liquids, sachets, they really do help! Many will contain things like paracetamol and caffeine to help lift your headache, improve your energy levels and decongest all the horrible symptoms you might be feeling.
More Advice on Surviving Freshers
So, there are some ideas to help you avoid the absolute worst part of uni, the freshers flu! Wondering how else you can up your immune system? We put together a guide on How To Stay Healthy During Freshers here. Want to figure out everything else there is to know about surviving freshers, head on over to our Student Advice hub to learn more.