How to Deal With Freshers’ Flu: A Brief Guide

Apparently forcing hundreds of hungover, congested students together into a single lecture theatre wasn’t the best choice for our collective health.

freshers freshers flu Freshers Week

You’ve tried to avoid it. You made it through Fresher’s without contracting a mild form of the plague. Now classes have started, however, there’s no escape. As your lecturer attempts to speak over the cacophony of coughing, you’ve got to face the inevitable truth: you are going to get ill.

1. The Dos and Don’ts

Do make the trip to Boots. From Beechams to Night Nurse, raid the health aisle and get as much as possible. When Freshers’ Flu hits all you will want to do is stay in bed, so get the necessary equipment beforehand.

Do stay in bed as much as possible. Home remedies work, and bed is your best friend. You have lectures, work and a social life you want to maintain, but no one wants to go out to the Union with someone whose nose could run a marathon.

Do put your social life on hold, just for a bit. Yes, there’s that GeoSoc pub crawl you desperately wanted to go to and you’re pretty sure you’re over the worst of the flu now (you’re not). Your friends will still be there when you get better, so become a hermit for a few days. That way they can’t blame you if they get ill.

Don’t pretend that you’re better than you are. If a friend offers to make a trip to Tesco’s for you, take them up on it! It’s surprising how comforting a bar of Dairy Milk and a packet of digestives can be when you’re close to death’s door. (Note: chocolate and digestives are not a tested cure for flu- but they do taste good)

Don’t overwork yourself. It’s the first week of lectures, and tutorials are starting soon. You want to make a good impression. Chances are that lecturers and tutors can see you’re ill and they will not be expecting miracles. Of course, try to get some of the reading done but that essay due week 4 can wait until you’re healthy.


2. Which cures work?

Tested and Approved:

Hot water bottles. If you’re room feels like it’s in the Arctic, you need one.

Tea. The best cure, you can’t live without it. You may be a coffee-loving American, but even so, let your English friend make you a cup of tea. Trust me, it helps.

Food. You may get to the stage where the kitchen or dining room seems too far, but you need to eat. Someone, somewhere will eventually go to Tesco’s. Ask them to get bread and something sweet. If your neighbour, like mine, is one of the kindest people in the world, they may even get you a Dominoes (thanks, Kat!)


Powering through. This doesn’t work, no matter how tough you think you are. Rest and tea is the only way and “running it off” will not help (I’m looking at you, exercise lovers.).

Wearing extra layers. Sadly, this is a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Warm clothes are great idea for Scotland, but when you’re ill, your warmest pyjamas are the closest fashion friend to have.

To summarise, when you find yourself sitting next to the cougher in lectures, follow the advice of someone that Freshers’ Flu hit hard: Boots, bed and box sets. Get well soon!