Is ‘fresher’s flu’ a myth?

When students start university their first thoughts tend to be what new stationary can I blag off my parents, where should I get my fairy lights and cushions that will never be on my bed from, and how much money can I afford to spend on alcohol. But a lot of people forget that when you move to a different city and live with several people from across the country and world, you underestimate just how important little things like vaccines and injections can be.

Fresher’s flu is the name commonly given to illnesses contracted by students during their first few weeks at university. Common symptoms include a fever, sore throat, headaches, coughing and general discomfort. The illnesses may or may not include actual influenza, and is usually often a bad cold mixed with what feels like a permanent hangover.

It tends to be due to the convergence of large numbers of people arriving from all over the world, many of whom unknowingly carry pathogens to which they are immune, that others have not had a chance to acquire the necessary immunity to them, so fall ill.

A lot of students don’t realise how important it actually is to make sure you have the correct injections before university and how easy it is to do it. Going to your local GP and asking what jabs you’ve had and what you’ve missed; and if you have missed any of your childhood jabs or boosters, your doctor will likely recommend that you get them before you go off to university; and you can get the majority of them free on the NHS.

5 tips to survive fresher’s:

  1. Do not steal your flatmates milk, you will get ill and die. And it’s karma for stealing their milk.
  2. Try and eat something after a night out to minimise the hangover so you’re ready to go again the next night. Aslan’s off West Street is highly recommended.
  3. Down pints of water before you go to sleep. Pints and pints of it.
  4. It’s okay if you have 0 energy and can’t get out of bed, your lecturers will understand. Crawl back into bed and have a duvet day and you’ll be good as new.
  5. Have ALL the injections you can possibly have! That way you’re bound to be fighting fit whilst everyone else around you suffers!



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