In the second of our two-part series on freshers’ flu, University of Glasgow student Vanessa explains what you can do to tackle the illness if you’re unlucky enough to catch it.
For many, university brings new, exciting possibilities. New friends, an unfamiliar city to explore and a chance to really get stuck into what you’re passionate about.
This is normally the time to enjoy yourself in the best possible way; by going out to events, getting to know fresh faces and simply enjoying the first week of university without much responsibility towards it.
However, when I moved to attend a new university for my postgraduate studies, I was told to be careful not to catch freshers’ flu. I had never heard about it, and I’m also not usually a person who gets ill too quickly.
As you can guess, I caught it, immediately, and at least two times. Out of experience, I would like to share my tips and tricks on how to handle it, and, if possible, to avoid it altogether.
Most people I have met throughout my postgraduate studies were doomed with the freshers’ flu to some extent. When I first experienced the symptoms, I thought I was just tired due to the excitement and a somewhat busy schedule.
Although I got enough sleep and ate healthily, I was soon proven wrong. After feeling tired, I developed a blocked nose, a cough and an extremely heavy head, which made it hard to concentrate. Not the best thing when you have recently moved to a new place and you do not know your way around yet. Especially when it, as in my case, lasted for two weeks. This time, it hit me hard.
The second time I caught freshers’ flu was at the end of October. Again, I was very unfortunate, as this is the time that the first assignments started. On the positive side, I knew when to start taking action - as soon as I felt a heavy head. So I bought cold and flu medication, took them regularly and avoided the worst, even though I still had a slightly blocked nose and sore throat.
If it had gotten a lot worse, this time I would have considered going to a member of staff on my course, as it could have influenced my concentration and the results of my assignments.
For more detailed advice on how you can identify or treat flu, check out the NHS website. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting better, or your symptoms are extreme, consult your local GP.