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by Josie Roberts, Online Living Editor

Freshers’ week… the adrenaline of meeting new people, being independent for the first time, a full bank account to play with and loads of events to go to… is now over. What happens next? Lectures? Seminars? Library trips? Hold on a second! Because now comes the stage that no one tells you about before you come to university… Freshers’ Flu is here.

Here comes the week of a symphony of coughing throughout your lectures, calls home asking whether it’s better to use Lemsip pills or sachets and your flatmates walking around in dressing gowns sniffling along with their piping hot soups and saying they feel awful every two minutes. If you get it, you feel gross and if you’re lucky enough to feel healthy, you feel bombarded by student zombies.


What is Freshers’ Flu?

Some say it is a myth, others say it is fiction. I say it’s a combination of both. Not an actual virus, Freshers’ Flu is a fusion of hangover, exhaustion and your body getting used to germs from all over the country. If you think about it, Freshers’ Week is the coming together of thousands of people (both freshers and returners) from all over the country and world. All these people will bring the germs of their towns and beyond (think trains, planes and petrol stations) into Bristol. Please don’t panic when you read the above, Freshers’ Flu is real but it isn’t lethal it just requires a lot of time, love and care.

How do you beat Freshers’ Flu?

Hydration - Keeping hydrated is the key to staying healthy. Drinking water when you are at your normal health, regulates the temperature of your body, it helps transport nutrients to keep you healthy and give you energy. So when you’re feeling under the weather, staying hydrated is key. If you don’t you’re going to feel even worse.

Have a night off - More often than not, Freshers’ Week doesn’t finish at the end of the week. Club nights continue, sports nights start and flat drinking sessions get crazier. The fun isn’t going to suddenly leave without you if you decide to have a night off. I did 10 days straight of going out when I came to Bristol and I felt exhausted by the end of it that I got really unwell. Have a night off now and again to relax, watch Netflix, call your mates from home and have an early night. You feeling awful will only get worse if you don’t.

Sleep! - I know any non-student reading this will be thinking that all students do is sleep and go out but when you don’t feel so good, sleep and rest is the best way for your body to recover. So put some arnica on those bruises you got from falling down the stairs at Thekla and rest.

Stock up - Get yourself a box and fill it with hydration sachets, paracetamol, ibuprofen, Lemsip, Strepsils, whatever floats your boat and makes you feel better. Vitamins are also a must - I know there is technically a tomato base on those Dominoes you ordered every single evening last week, but I think you need a bit of a boost. It will really help in both the long term and short term, even if you’re not unwell yet.


The first few weeks of term are always tumultuous and new and it’s even worse when you’re unwell! So try to be mindful and follow my advice or come up with your own coping mechanisms and help each other out over the next few weeks so you can have the most fun possible in your first term at Bristol University!

Featured image: Josie Roberts / Epigram

Have you been hit with Freshers' flu? What has your experience been? Get in contact!

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