Freshers’ week is regarded by many students as the highlight of their academic career. Meeting new people and being inundated with new names to remember, kick-starting your pasta-fuelled diet and trying out new alcohol – trebles!? Your first week will be filled with joy, and the excitement of exploring the ‘Toon’, getting lost in the Armstrong and bitching about the block next door in your flat group chat. In the days following freshers’ week, however, the unfortunate side-effects of your non-stop socialising slowly begin to kick-in.
Kick-starting your pasta-fuelled diet and trying out new alcohol – trebles!? Your first week will be filled with joy, and the excitement of exploring the ‘Toon’, getting lost in the Armstrong and bitching about the block next door.
At first, it starts with just a little cough, and you’re left wondering whether you’re maybe just still drunk from last night’s Flares outing, but before you know it your nose is running like the Nile and the frog in your throat has turned into something more whale-sized. Ah, freshers’ flu is finally taking its toll.
First of all, you need to remember that it’s okay to take a night off. The temptation to go out every night can be overwhelming, and when you are suddenly presented with so many new exciting experiences it can be hard to say no, but sometimes it’s necessary. A date night with Netflix and a hot chocolate is sometimes the best thing to do when you’re feeling groggy when you’re ill a hangover will only make it worse the next day.
Furthering this, sleep is essential to get you feeling right as rain again. If your flatmates are in the habit of blasting music all night, it’s alright to ask them to turn it down. These are the people who you will have to be living with all year and making a good first impression rather than being a social “killjoy” is desirable, but your health is important and you need sleep to start feeling better.
After all, you may win yourself some favour with your other flatmates who are tired of being kept awake by Despacito night after night after night. Heed this warning though: you may think you’re being subtle by putting a message about it in the group chat, but this will often be taken as passive aggressive, so it’s advisable to confront the issue head-on.
Naturally fresh fruit and vegetables are a must, and there is no better place to start than Grainger Market. With its astounding masses of fresh produce, eating healthy on a budget really is no struggle, and cramming yourself with vitamins will slowly begin to alleviate the symptoms of freshers’ flu.
Feeling under the weather can often set off feelings of homesickness, as you no longer have any family members to bring you comforting cups of tea in bed, or pets to snuggle up to. Ensure you talk regularly to your friends and family at home, and that you decorate your uni room with some home comforts – fairy lights, framed photos and posters are always winners. Ultimately mental health can impact your physical health much more than you may expect, so endeavour to stay calm, relaxed and self-confident despite your stressful new environment.
Mental health can impact your physical health much more than you may expect, so endeavour to stay calm, relaxed and self-confident despite your stressful new environment.
Ultimately remember that, although freshers’ flu can be a major annoyance that stands in the way between you and new university experiences, it won’t last forever as long as you look after yourself. While it may seem gutting to have to cancel on Digi Monday, a trip to Za Za Bazaar, or even a Game of Thrones marathon, prioritising your health and having time to yourself in the short-term can really bring staggering long-term benefits.