What is Freshers’ Flu?
Freshers’ flu is not strictly flu! The term encompasses all sorts of illnesses and viruses that are rampant throughout the first couple of weeks of the new uni year. Students are far more likely to get sick during those exciting times where you’re signing up to all the different clubs and actually listening to your lectures. According to Wikipedia (yeah, I know), stress, tiredness, poor diet and late nights, combined with too much alcohol can all contribute to the overall illness.
What is Freshers’ Week?
What?! You’ve never heard of Freshers’ Week? It usually takes place during the first week of the new Uni term, where first-year students (known as freshers) get introduced into student life. There’s lots of drinking, nights out and little to no sleep. It’s a great way to get to know the people in your dorm and on your course. It’s also a perfect way to get sick as there are so many people spreading their germs everywhere.
Freshers week now lasts way longer than a week, it is more likely to go on for around a month. There is so much to do, get involved in and learn about that it just gets longer and longer each year!
What does this mean with Covid?
Normally, most people would just crack on, stay in bed for a few days feeling sorry for themselves and beg for emergency care packages from parents back home. During the main part of the pandemic in 2020, most Freshers’ Week activities were severely reduced or cancelled altogether to minimise the spread.
Now that things are slowly getting back to normal (and as of time of publishing, we are heading out of lockdown towards the end of June ‘21), then Freshers’ Week will be relatively back to normal. If you do feel sick during any point of Freshers’ including having a fever, sore throat, headaches and coughing; treat it as if you have Covid-19. You will need to self-isolate, get tested with a PCR test and obviously advise anyone you’ve been in direct contact with. Also let the university know so they can implement any track-and-trace procedures they have in place.
How do I get Fresher’s Flu?
Honestly, rest. Drink plenty of fluids – water, not lager – and try to get fresh food rather than takeaways, fruit is your friend! Make sure that you get tested for Covid-19, just in case. Taking paracetamol or cold and flu and tablets will also be able to help and alleviate the headaches and aches that are part and parcel of having a bad cold.
Look after yourself and recognise that you might just need a break. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and with university being such a big change for many students, do not feel bad if you need to miss a few nights out to catch up on sleep and have a bit of time on your own.
Keep up your personal hygiene, keep washing those hands regularly, get showers daily (if possible) and keep some antibacterial hand gel in your bag if you feel that you need it. A lot of buildings will have hand gel at entrance points for a while, so you can always use theirs if you don’t want to carry your own.
Can I avoid Fresher’s Flu?
There are claims that over 90% of illnesses during the first month are attributed to Freshers’ Flu. This doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to get ill. Taking care of yourself should be at the forefront of your mind. Getting ill is never good, but taking time to do a bit of self-care is going to work wonders.
Try not to worry about getting ill, if it happens, it happens. Getting stressed about the potential for getting ill, will only make you more susceptible to it. Relax, have fun and take