Starting university is a big step for many students. You can expect to discover new friendships, gain valuable knowledge for your future career, and make unforgettable memories.
During Fresher's Week, there are many exciting activities to participate in, although we won't confirm or deny any rumours you may have heard. However, Fresher's Flu is one aspect of the week that you might not be looking forward to.
If you're unfamiliar with the term, the illness tends to affect most new students at some point during their first year. Although it's usually just a minor cold, it can damage your social life if it comes at the wrong time.
At this point, you may be interested in understanding three key aspects:
Fortunately, we're here to guide you on these matters.
In short, it's difficult to completely avoid contracting Fresher's Flu because viruses typically spread in two primary ways:
Since it's challenging to entirely steer clear of these situations during Fresher's Week unless you plan to stay isolated in your room, avoiding Fresher's Flu is unlikely.
However, you can protect yourself and your housemates by practising good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing to prevent the spread of bacteria and using steam inhalation to help clear your airways and reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections (RTIs).
It's important to note that Fresher's Flu differs from regular flu, despite its name. Instead, it resembles a common cold, meaning it shouldn't stick around for too long. Keep an eye out for these symptoms, as they could indicate that you're about to come down with Fresher's Flu:
If, by chance, these symptoms persist for a duration exceeding one week or intensify significantly, it is advisable to consult a medical professional, as it could potentially be indicative of a more severe underlying condition.
When Fresher's Flu strikes, your top priority will be to recover and reconnect with your newfound companions. Coping with the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) can be a challenging symptom, especially during the pinnacle week of your social itinerary. Still, you can expedite your recovery with these tips.
Getting only a few hours of sleep and heading to the pub may seem like a source of pride to some, but studies have found that this weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses like Fresher's Flu.
To fully recharge, you need a minimum of seven to eight hours of quality sleep. However, factors like alcohol can impact the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling as tired as before.
Maintaining a healthy diet in college can be difficult, especially with fast food options. It's easy to opt for a quick burger, pizza or fried chicken instead of cooking a proper meal.
Unfortunately, this habit isn't good for your immune system either. Eating fruits and vegetables is essential as they provide the necessary vitamins and minerals that our body needs to function properly and fight infections. It's recommended to have at least five
servings of fruits and veggies each day, and consider swapping beer for a refreshing glass of orange juice occasionally.
Speaking of beer.
It may not be the most welcome news for many students during Fresher's Week, but unfortunately, it is true. Consuming alcohol can disrupt your immune system, as demonstrated in a 2011 article from New Scientist. Additionally, we have already discussed its
negative impact on your sleep quality.
The reality is that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol will likely result in feeling unwell the following day. Furthermore, alcohol contributes to dehydration, which can impede the effectiveness of your organs and make it more difficult to fight off infections.
When you're not feeling your best, drinking plenty of water can help you feel more like yourself again. On a night out, try alternating between alcoholic drinks and water or soft drinks.
Before bed, have another drink and keep one on your bedside table. Additionally, you may want to look at our article on the top methods for preventing or easing hangovers.
It is highly recommended to refrain from smoking, especially as it can weaken your immune system and cause irritation due to the smoke. Additionally, smoking exacerbates sore throat symptoms.
Although quitting smoking is beneficial for both your health and finances, it can be a challenging feat to accomplish. You can refer to our comprehensive guide for guidance on quitting smoking. If you're considering vaping as an alternative, we suggest looking at our
comparison guide for further insight.
Taking care of your health at university is crucial, even if you're dealing with the common Fresher's Flu. At Mobi Doctor, our doctors are available at the touch of a button to offer support and advice on managing the mental strain of student life and providing discreet
guidance on sexual health and STDs.