How to survive Edinburgh’s freshers flu

You’re welcome

We’ve all been there; the semester has just started, you're feeling on top of the world and everything is going great. Then you wake up and your throat is hurting, coughing starts and all of a sudden you're stuck with freshers flu. Don’t let the name mislead you, its not just freshers that get it, you can hear the sniffling and coughing in all the lecture theatres from Appleton to Kings.

Worry not, because here is your guide on how to survive the inevitable:

Hydration & Sustenance

One of the most important things is to make sure you are well hydrated. Get your eight cups of water a day, or more, and it will help with the sore throat and fever.

Make a million cups of tea a day, and make the most of Britain's honey supply. Or, even better, make yourself a “toddy”, that will make you feel better in no time: 1 lemon, squeezed, 1sp grated ginger, half a chili, 2 tbsp honey and a shot of whiskey. Put it all in a mug and fill up with hot water, let sit for a few minutes and its ready.

When it comes to food, the staple diet of a person affected with freshers flu is usually a pack of biscuits and whatever stale food is left in the fridge. However, if you want to get well fast, you need to load up on food. Load up on good carbs and protein, and healthy fats. But, if you are like most students, as long as its something other than pizza, you’re good. Just remember to eat.

If this won't make you feel better, nothing will

If this won't make you feel better, nothing will

Keep warm

Let’s face it, Edinburgh flats are often cold and damp. Not ideal for snuggling up in bed and quickly getting over a cold. It's also still early October, which means your flatmates will throw a fit if you start turning the heating on.

Solution? Put on all the scarves and woollen jumpers you own, and snuggle under all the blankets you can find in your flat, including the ones you've stolen from your flatmates.


For all the nap lovers out there, this is your moment. When you’re ill, you simply cannot get enough sleep. Sleep is the time when your body heals itself, which is why you should switch out your usual 8 hours for a much more relaxing 16 hours a day.

Make sure to take several naps throughout the day, and portion them evenly. A bit tired after breakfast? Take a nap. Did you manage to log on to MyEd? Take a nap. Went to a lecture? Take a nap. A bit tired after your nap? Take a nap.

The cosier the better

The cosier the better

Cash in all your favours

Remember that one time you gave your friend your lecture notes? When you hosted pres at yours when no one else could have it at theirs? When you picked up some milk for your flatmate on the way home? Well, they owe you, and now its time for them to pay you back.

Get your friends to get groceries, make you soup, and run to the pharmacy for you. Are you lucky enough to have a significant other, it's basically their job to take care of you, but just remember that in that case you will have to take care of them when they get ill.

Steam it up

Have you forgotten how it feels to breathe through your nose? Are the people around you getting a bit annoyed with the constant wheezing as you breathe?

If you are lucky enough to have a bathtub, and flatmates who are able to clean, take long baths. If not, take long showers or fill a bowl with warm water, get a towel over your head and inhale the steam.

Call your mom

When nothing else works, throw in the towel and call your mom. No one is as good at sympathy and love as your mum, and a good dose of that might be all you need. NB: Possible side effects may include acute home-sickness.