Well it’s that time of year again. The alcohol-infused immortality complex, renown for boosting immune systems better than any vitamin known to man, has begun to wear off. The late nights, takeaway diet, lack of what your Granny would call “suitable clothing”, and intermingling of students; has led to the usual sniffling student epidemic. But this year Fresher’s Flu seems to have conquered even the most resilient student, regardless of whether they’re ‘fresh’ or not.
According to Becca, second year, “Every-one has it! I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had it or got it!”. And it’s true. I challenge you all to manage a walk from Eddie-B to Old Bar without having to dodge at least one sneezing student (seriously people, cover your mouths!). Every lecture is punctuated with sniffs and splutters, providing a sickly soundtrack to the slides. Tissue usage has reached unprecedented levels. Union toilets are left bare from the plunder of desperate nose drippers, and white hankies are overflowing from bins. The impact on deforestation is as yet unknown, but expectations of an environmental plea to ban nose wiping seem to be on the horizon.
Not only is FF seemingly at its most pandemic in history, the ferocity of its head-banging, cough-creating, throat-grating, misery seem to have reached entirely new levels. “I’ve never had it so badly”, commented Victoria Leigh, a third year, a view shared by every pale-faced sufferer you encounter.
But are we over-reacting? The average student, although capable of trekking home at 2am, jacketless, in freezing conditions; is not necessarily an example of the ‘stiff upper lip’ when that lip is constantly fighting off a river of snot. It has to be acknowledged that we don’t need much of an excuse to cave to the sirens of an extra hour (or five) in bed ,comfort food and the allure of daytime TV to win over our resolve for concentration, study and hard work. Students have also, on occasion, been known to blow things, ever so slightly, out of proportion (“this is just the BEST sandwich EVER”). It could be that FF, much like the English summer, perpetually seems to be the worst we’ve ever had, and is a rite of passage for every first year. My only issue is that the bug doesn’t differentiate between Freshers and veteran students, which although applaudable for its lack of discrimination, seems a little on the harsh side. One would have thought that FF would be more like chickenpox, having endured it once surely we’ve earned immunity?
However unjust, Freshers Flu is certainly at its peak and all I can offer are these words of advice; keep cosy, eat fruit, moan to your mates, and maybe when you “Down-It-Fresher!” make “It” a Lemsip. Most of all, ride it out in style! You’re only a student once, so don’t let the Flu make you blue.