Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people head away from home to study at a college of their choice. This is a brilliant opportunity. If you are heading away soon, you will have all sorts of wonderful things to look forward to: meeting new people, settling into new surroundings, and boosting your social life as you search for new friends. However, there’s one less positive thing that most students have to face: fresher’s flu. Here are a few pieces of information and knowledge that will allow you to deal with fresher’s flu in the best way possible:
What Is Fresher’s Flu?
So, what actually is fresher’s flu? While the term may not be medically recognized, the condition and symptoms are far from a myth. Essentially, “fresher’s flu” is the batch of illnesses that students are exposed to during the first few weeks of university. Symptoms can include shivering, dry fever, coughs, sneezes, headaches, grogginess, and blocked sinuses. This is obviously a less than ideal experience when you find that you are far from home and the comfort of your mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup. So what causes this mysterious condition? When a new term starts at university, people from all over the world arrive with pathogens to which they are immune, but others may not be. Unsurprisingly, the poor diet and alcohol consumption often associated with the first few weeks of college doesn’t help this situation, either.
Don’t worry if you do contract fresher’s flu. It’s not the end of the world. Most symptoms will fade out by themselves over time, but you can make things more comfortable and bearable for yourself in the meantime. Use a sinus treatment such as a nasal decongestant, have plenty of soft tissues at hand, take painkillers for headaches or discomfort, and take things easy until you’re feeling rearing and ready to go again.
While it’s highly likely that you’ll get a little ill at some point or another, you want to minimize your chances of getting and spreading the flu. You definitely don’t want to miss out on any of the exciting events or important lectures going on when you first arrive. A good start is to drink responsibly. Excessive drinking is never a good move, regardless of where you are. Remember to eat a healthy diet. Even if you aren’t used to preparing meals for yourself, you can still easily consume your recommended fruits and veggies a day at the salad bar in your student center.
Another tip that you might also want to opt for is shaking hands when greeting new people rather than hugging. This contact is less direct, and you are less likely to pick up germs or illnesses this way, especially if you carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you and clean your hands regularly. This may also be a good time to set down the ground rules of a shared kitchen or shared bathrooms. Request that people stick to their own crockery, cutlery, and glasses to reduce the spread of the flu blues.
Being aware of potential causes of sickness, how to avoid illness, and how to treat symptoms will ensure that your first few weeks at college are the best and healthiest possible!
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