It’s your first night out with your flatmates during Freshers’ Week, and you’re absolutely loving life. The night passes, and you do it all over again for several days. But then, the worst happens: the dreaded Freshers’ Flu. Your head is pounding, and not just from all the alcohol you’ve consumed. Your nose is runny, your throat is sore, and you just want to hide away from everyone and everything under your duvet.
Having the flu is inconvenient, what with all the new people you have to meet and the parties you have to attend. Here’s a guide on how to take care of yourself during this rough period.
1. Keep tissues with you: make sure you’re always around a tissue, whether you’re in your room, on the bus, or at university. Nobody wants to be sat next to someone in a lecture theatre who keeps coughing and sneezing into their sleeve. Use a tissue; you’ll make more friends that way too.
2. Eat healthy: this is pretty much common sense! You need to eat your fruit and vegetables; not only will you make your mum proud, but you’ll be getting loads of vitamins and minerals into your diet. Ditch those ready meals for a change, and eat fresh foods.
3. Drink lots of water: you need to keep yourself hydrated and flush out those Freshers’ Flu toxins from your body. This doesn’t include drinking alcohol though, so perhaps cut that out until you’re feeling better!
4. Go outside: you’ll start to feel the benefits of being outside and getting some fresh air, and you’ll be able to explore your new home for a while—it’s a win-win situation!
5. Take a bath/shower: the hot water will make your muscles relax, and the steam will help your sinuses.
6. Get some sleep: tuck yourself into bed and go to sleep. You might be missing one or two nights out, but this just means you’ll be able to go on for that much longer.
7. Make your room cozy: nothing makes you feel better like being at home with your mum, but if it isn’t possible for you to go back, you’ll need a thick blanket, some fluffy cushions, a hot water bottle, and pictures of your loved ones all over the wall. This will make you feel better almost instantaneously.
Everyone knows how stressful it can get to be ill at university and feel like no one is there to help you. Just know that you aren’t alone; a study by Kleenex revealed that Freshers’ Week is when students most often call home complaining about their symptoms to their parents.
Their research also shows that in the first three weeks of university alone, there were over 10,000 mentions of Freshers’ Flu on social media. 75 per cent of all conversations about the flu came from females, who are most likely to suffer the most from it.
Social media data from individual universities last year tells us that students at the highest risk of catching Freshers’ Flu are in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff, and Newcastle. Use these tips if you are unlucky enough to catch the flu, and fight it!