Label’s head of Social Media, Lou Goswell, shares some tips on how to gain more health points to avoid the ever-present Freshers’ Flu.


Have you ever seen the film Contagion where Gwyneth Paltrow cheats on Matt Damon and, consequently, just about the whole world goes into chaos? That’s what freshers’ flu is like. Despite the name, the unavoidable plague is not actually limited to freshers. Returners, you are not safe. You’re in your final year of your PhD, so surely you won’t catch it… think again. A common misconception is that freshers’ flu is an excuse for a bad hangover, however, it is a recognised pandemic that strikes universities all over the country throughout the first few months back at university.

So, what does it feel like? You may experience freshers’ flu in several ways: fever, coughing, sneezing, headaches and tiredness. If you find you do experience any of these symptoms here are some simple things you can do to make a speedy recovery:

  • Register – if you haven’t already – with the Campus Medical Centre. Try and make an appointment to see a doctor. Sometimes the coughing caused by freshers’ flu can cause permanent damage to your lungs (learnt through experience unfortunately) or be a cause of something more serious.
  • Admit you are ill. That means no more nights out. You will need to accept you are ill and limit your activities to ones that are not too strenuous.
  • Spend time resting to allow your body to recover. Your lecturers will understand if you need to miss a lecture or two, just make sure to let them know that you are unwell and will catch up on any work missed as soon as you are better.
  • Wash your hands regularly. This will limit the spread of the illness and may spare the people you are living with from contracting it.
  • Eat hearty foods including a balance of all the necessary food groups. On the first day of illness, its ok to feel sorry for yourself and make some soup.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If you are going to brave the world and get out of bed, make sure you have the essentials packed: anti-bac hand soap, tissues, water and ibuprofen.
  • Vicks nose spray works a treat for a blocked nose.
  • Anaesthetic throat sprays work wonders with swollen glands.
  • You may feel comfortable in your cocoon, however, getting out in the fresh air and doing some exercise may just do the trick.
  • Watch Contagion on Netflix if you haven’t already seen it.

A final note to add – if you haven’t already, PLEASE get your Meningitis vaccination. This is so important and can save your life.

For now, eat well, sleep well, think well and stay well.


Featured image by: Omeiza Haruna


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