Tab Health: Fresher’s Flu

Our resident medical expert ARRASH YASSAE guides you through the perils of Freshers’ Flu.

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University offers a near infinity of exciting, new possibilities. The chance to finally rid yourself of that school nickname. To fly free of the parental rulebook. And maybe even to spontaneously subject your neighbour to a drunken lecture on the history of tea drinking in Western European society.

Whilst said hot drinks discourse will always be held against me, the one event that’s likely to temporarily bog down almost every student is a bout of the dreaded Fresher’s Flu. Unless you’re superhuman, you will undoubtedly come across this most unwanted of fiends. It was a certain female acquaintance that bore me my first bout, and symptoms can range from feeling a bit rundown to full-blown fevers, coughs and headaches.

What is Fresher’s Flu?

Fresher’s Flu isn’t a particular disease, nor is it usually flu, but instead it is a cold or throat infection. It’s simply the body’s immune system succumbing to illness after being weakened through alcohol, lack of sleep and a less than ideal diet. Stress can also be a factor, and often the sudden change of leaving home and having to make new friends can be enough to leave us vulnerable to getting sick.

Still curious about the difference between cold and flu? Then use the aptly-named £50 test: If someone put a £50 note outside your front door, if you’d still be willing to get out of bed to pick it up, you’re probably just suffering from a bad cold.

Man flu – the only thing worse than Freshers’ Flu

But before you go to the extreme of locking yourself away in the highest turret of King’s, there’s a few small steps you can take to help beat any bugs:

Drink: Parents may tells us to take nights off and go to non-drinking events, but I honestly don’t think these exist. Instead, head to the water cooler and keep hydrated. This will help stop you hanging the next day.

Eat yourself healthy: Try to introduce some fruit into your diet. Juice and fruit-themed cocktails are a start, as is sneaking your way to your 5-a day by requesting every item of salad on your post-disco burger.

Sleep: Get as much as you can. 9am lectures are for sissies.

Going out: You might be enjoying your sharing of drinks with the eye-candy who’s rapidly working through a pack of tissues but this probably isn’t the wisest idea. A hoody hidden in the corner of Cindies for the journey home also won’t go amiss, and can potentially double as a tool to woo/restrain a young lady/gentleman when making the trek in the chill.

Medication: Make sure you’ve registered with a GP. Find the time and the patience and fill out an HC1 form for reduced prescriptions costs. If your body does submit to infection easily, Vitamin C tablets can help quicken your recovery. Bear in mind the benefits of supplements are dubious, and overdosing will do you more harm than good. A glass of orange juice is usually all that is needed. Following some good old fashioned paracetamol, there’s nothing left to do than to wait and sweat it out.

Finally, it is worth noting that anything that manifests itself below the belt is probably not Freshers’ Flu. If you are experiencing unwanted tingles below, it’s probably best to refer to your nearest sexual health clinic.