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Fresher's Flu

Fresher’s Flu is the slang name given to illnesses that are suffered by new students at university in the first few weeks (the fresher’s weeks).

Common Symptoms of Fresher’s Flu

  • Sore throats
  • High temperatures
  • Headaches
  • Coughs
  • A general feeling of being unwell

The term freshers flu is pretty much exclusive to the UK it is rarely actual flu and is usually just a bad cold but as a nation of hypochondriacs, we refer to any slight cold as being flu.

The cause of fresher’s flu can be put down to the fact that large numbers of students arrive in one place from all over the world with foreign students and new roommates carrying germs that home students aren’t immune to and vice versa.

Another cause of fresher’s flu is the unhealthy diet and large amount of alcohol consumed by many students during fresher’s weeks.

"Stress, which may be induced by tiredness, combined with a poor diet, late nights and too much alcohol, can weaken the immune system and be a recipe for ill health. All this can make students more susceptible to infections within their first weeks of term."

Dr Peter Mace, Clinical Director: BUPA Wellness

Fresher’s flu can also refer to the psychological effects that some fresher’s suffer when they start university. These effects can arise from leaving home, being independent, having to make new friends, starting a new course etc.

These psychological effects can of course weaken the immune system opeing the pathway for physical effects of fresher's flu.

How to beat Fresher's Flu

  • Sleep – Get as much sleep as you can, if you’re overly tired then you will lower your immunity to colds and flus.
  • Drink – Try not to drink alcohol every single night, take nights off, go on freshers events that don’t involve alcohol.
  • Eat - Eat well, avoid take aways every night of the week and make sure you are getting your 5 portions of fruit and veg each day.
  • Doctor – Register with a GP as soon as you arrive at uni, that way you will have somewhere to go if you do get ill.