If you just can’t seem to shake that post-Freshers’ Week hangover, there may be more than meets the eye – you may be suffering from the infamous Freshers Flu!
There will be moments during freshers when, surrounded by hundreds of writhing sweaty bodies in Fruity, you’ll feel a little iffy.
This will no doubt be compounded when you awake in shivers the next day with a pounding headache and a cough, barely having time to scoff a dry packet of Super Noodles before a knock on the door informs you pres are about to start, only tonight its Pryzm. No rest for the wicked.
As you stand on the carpeted floor and shunt another jaegerbomb down your inflamed throat, fighting desperately to keep your eyelids open, you might begin wonder if all this is starting to feel a bit nastier than your standard hangover.
Maybe you’re just dehydrated from the tears you shed when you hugged mum and dad goodbye? Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve got the infamous freshers flu.
Freshers flu makes an annual visit to Universities across the country at the start of each year, infecting a fresh batch of incoming and returning students with respiratory tract infections.
Often dismissed as a particularly insidious hangover, freshers flu is actually one of a selection of infectious viruses making the rounds that year, though it usually causes nothing more ominous than a bad cold. While frequently attributed solely to extensive saliva swapping, there’s a few major contributing factors which Freshers presents in the perfect storm of circumstance that allows fairly bog-standard nasties to sneak in the front door.
Even if you decide against tongue-swabbing your new flatmate’s tonsils, the extended periods you’ll inevitably spend slapping against the moist silhouettes of your Leeds co-attendees in a darkened club leave you exposed to a veritable army of viral baddies.
Coupled with the lack of sleep, the cheesy chips, the binge drinking and the stress (that hug with mum and dad really got to you) you never stood a chance. Perhaps the sickness was inevitable from the beginning.
However, there is solace in that, inevitably, some of your new friends will contract it too. Together then you can form an alliance united by not only geographical proximity, but by suffering as well. You can stumble blindly to catered breakfast together, snuggle up for an afternoon nap, even collaborate on the kettle – no more dry super noodles.
Hot meals, catch-up sleep, and plenty of liquids will all help you on the road to recovery. If you can muster the will to exercise, that’ll help too, but don’t worry too much if you can’t beat it and get out of bed – nothing important happens for the first couple of weeks anyway.
So as you sit, submitting socially to your clearly insane flatmate as they wildly elaborate on a myriad of unintelligible ring of fire rules, don’t spend too long wondering whether it’s really worth another roll of the freshers flu dice just for a few 80p shots at Space. It isn’t.
But you’re going to go anyway – and maybe in the aftermath, in the shared pain of the flu that follows, with pounding headaches and a massive pack of soothers, you’ll forge in your communal whining something that starts to look like friendship. It is freshers after all!