Tab Tries: Fresher’s Flu

ABBI BROWN tackles Freshers Flu head on armed with a variety of remedies – will she prevail?

abbi brown Drugs freshers flu

I returned to Cambridge this year a grad, and as a grad decided it was about time I started taking myself seriously.

In pursuit of my serious grad persona I took up yoga, started drinking kale and spinach smoothies, scavenged my mother’s wardrobe for long skirts in which to flounce torturedly about the UL, and declared to anyone who would listen that I would no longer be snogging strangers in grotty nightclubs for lack of anything better to do.

Site of my tortured flouncing

And what did I get in return? Fresher’s flu.

I have never had fresher’s flu in my life, and it is worse than I had ever imagined. Meeting new people is hard. Meeting new people with a head full of cold and a slowly-melting lozenge occupying one side of your mouth is even harder. Doing all of the above whilst also maintaining the air of a Mature and Sophisticated Grad Student is nigh on impossible.

Never one to refuse a challenge, I indulged in a little retail therapy at Superdrug, and set to work reviewing all relevant medications. And now, thanks to my selfless efforts, if you are ever befallen by such an affliction, you will at least know what to take. #greatergood

Sudafed spray

My roommate last year swore by this stuff, so I bit the bullet and invested. You literally just snort it, except not in a fun way. Gave me a runny nose and made my mouth hurt. Possibly I was doing it wrong.



Soothers remind me of childhood and stopped me coughing for at least the time they were actually in my mouth, which is something at least.



Moments after popping one of these in, I tried to open a door and simultaneously say hi to a friend I hadn’t seen since June. The ensuing scene was neither smooth nor sophisticated; I nearly choked to death and crashed into a wall. This may not have been entirely the fault of the cough sweets, but it’s nice to have something to blame.


The only medicine worth taking…

Sudafed tablets

Actually genuinely work. Pricey though.


Sainsbury’s Ginger and Lemon Tea

Actually genuinely works, and is not pricey.


Excessive drinking

A bad idea.


Honey and lemon

Maybe it was the all-natural ingredients, or maybe it was the soothing, maternal bedside manner of the kind friend who whipped this up for me. Either way, this was like a big warm hug for my insides.


In conclusion, stock up on honey and lemon, eat cheesy chips to your heart’s content, snog with abandon and let’s never mention kale again.