As an international student, I was greeted by an exclusively UK phenomenon when I first came to Loughborough – the “freshers’ flu.” It sucks! And I bet most of you have already experienced the same thing I have.

I started cowering under my bed covers and feeling absolutely rotten, right after the crazy night I had following the Sing-off. I kind of made it through my Freshers’ week, at least I could simply lie on my bed and sleep, doing nothing before 9pm, when my lazy day would turn into another crazy night. However, with me taking zero medication, as well as having a cheeky kiss or two on nights out, the nasty flu seemed to get stronger and stronger, while I was getting worse and worse.

What’s the worst thing about having freshers’ flu? To me, the early lectures. I had the most rubbish week I have ever had – suffering from dreaded hangovers, staying up till 5am due to the deadly headache and dry cough, followed by lectures at 9 the next morning. I felt like this flu was tearing me apart or, to be more accurate, tearing ‘us’ apart. You know exactly what I’m talking about if you have ever experienced the ‘symphony of cough’ during lectures.

As freshers’ flu has become my best friend during the past five weeks, I felt the need to do everything I could to avoid this nasty side effect of the parties and nights out I had been attending. After all, we were slowly starting to get bombarded by tons of coursework and tests. So I googled it and, unsurprisingly, there was only one conclusion to be made – freshers’ flu could not be cured.

There were 3 suggested cures on the web. First, you have to eat healthy, which is nearly impossible for us, catered freshers, because fried chicken, pizza, fries – you name it, are all we have available to us. The next one advised to make sure your surroundings are clean. Well, maybe this one applies to me, as I still have an unwashed bowl and spoon sitting right in front of my laptop. What a mess I am! Lastly, which I believe is the most practical one, Google claims you should drink more hot water.

Well, over the five rubbish weeks that passed, I tried my best to follow these cures and I am slowly starting to get better now. But if you ask if I hate freshers’ flu, I will definitely say no. I mean, it’s the best start-up topic for any conversation, which is rather important for making friends. It also helps to build a sense of belonging between you and your fellow course mates when you are part of the ‘song of cough’ during lectures.

Do you feel that way too?

-By Vivian Lee


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