Freshers’ Fortnight is generally considered to be two weeks of incessant socialising, tons of booze and an atmosphere of utter merriment and madness. But about a week in, you realise that it ain’t all fun and games.

The one thing that no one told you about begins to surface; the coughing starts, the sniffing commences, and the mini epidemic that is FRESHERS’ FLU begins to plague every hall of residence and First Year lecture theatre on campus.

It’s more than just your average cold. It’s like a severe fever that leaves you coughing like an elderly chain-smoker, so bunged up that you start carrying entire toilet rolls around with you. Your head pounds, your throat throbs and the fever sets in.


Freshers’ Flu is the bane of Freshers’ Week.

Indisputably, the best way to avoid it is to STAY in your room and NOT reappear until Freshers’ is over. But this would also make you a total social recluse. Here are some alternative methods of reducing the risks…

Refrain from tickling tonsils on the Jesters dance floor. Not only will this help prevent Freshers’ Flu contamination, but it will also significantly reduce your chances of contracting the infamous “kissing disease”, Glandular Fever. If you are that keen to interact with a dashing fitty, perhaps express your interest with a cheeky bum pinch or a lingering glance.

When it comes to the Waterfall Ace in Ring of Fire, avoid the “pass your drink” version. You may as well get with everyone in the drinking circle because their germy saliva will be all over your Vodka Cranberry anyway. Tasty.

You may think that Freshers’ is a time of frivolous sexual activity where anything goes. What you do not realise is that the threesome you’ve always dreamed of will greatly increase your chances of contracting the deadly plague that is Freshers’ Flu, as well as a host of dreaded STIs…

Upon walking into a lecture, hawk-eye the room for anyone who is snivelling, sneezing or stacked up with tissues, then proceed to sit as far away from the germ-infested individual as possible. If this poor soul happens to be your friend, give them an awkward wave and then flee the vicinity.


Seek out those coughers and steer clear

While saving a couple of quid and beating the bar queues may seem like a grand idea at the time, minesweeping is a poor life choice. There could be any manner of nasties lurking in the bottom of that glass- why take the risk?

Although you may think that you can survive on a few hours sleep a night, after burning the candle at both ends you’ll start looking like Gollum. Get your beauty sleep; have a night off.

Don’t relish on the same Chic-O-Land grub as your buddy. Grabbing chicken chunks from the same box as a fellow Fresher and double-dipping it in that Tommy K sauce, is a prime way of catching the dreaded disease. Sacrifice that extra quid and buy your own.

You may think that your new-found independence and lack of parental presence grants you the right to live on fatty fry ups, pot noodles and booze. Er, no. It’s a one-way street to getting fat and fluey. Your five-a-day will be a saving grace to fighting off that flu. And no, Bulmer’s Pear Cider does not count.

Hopefully you’ve not yet contracted Freshers’ Flu and these expert tips will help you stay on top form throughout the fortnight. If you have already got it, pop your onesie on, whack the tissues out, and take comfort in the knowledge that a bit of TLC will have you back on form in no time.

Have you got any other tips for avoiding Freshers’ Flu? Or any funny stories about how you got it? Let us know in the comments below!

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