Those first few weeks of uni can be just as scintillating an experience as it is crippling. Go too hard and Fresher’s Flu will zombify you quicker than you can say ‘The Walking Dead’. According to research, a whopping 90% of students fall ill within the first few weeks of university. Unless you’re some kind of Patient Zero, you might want to arm yourself with knowledge against the pandemic before it’s too late.


How do you get it?

Staying super healthy during Fresher’s Week will probably be the furthest possible thing from your mind. Chances are you’ll be too busy enjoying your newfound independence.

You soon realise that you can get as drunk as you like without worrying about waking up Mum and Dad and that well, if you want a greasy 2am kebab, no-one’s gonna tell you that you can’t. It’s stuff like this – regularly drinking too much, bad diet and late nights that can wear down your immune system.

Add that to all the mingling you’re going to be doing with people and all those pathogens you haven’t met yet, you’ve got a recipe for viral disaster with the added spice of being a bedridden husk for a few days. But it doesn’t have to be this way…

How do you avoid it?

If you want the best chance of avoiding the dreaded Fresher’s Flu plague, take note of these top tips…

Eat something decent


Pizza may be your pal, but fruits are your friends. Plenty of fruits and veggies should shore up your immune defences and are cheaper and more effective than those multivitamin tablets everyone raves about.

Be a clean freak

Pirates used to drink loads, never eat fruit and live in squalid conditions, and most of those guys got scurvy. Top tip: Don’t be a pirate. Invest in some hand sanitiser and keep your living and eating spaces in ship-shape. You won’t need to seal yourself in a plastic bubble but be a little cleaner than you’re used to.

Grab some fresh air and exercise

We get it. No-one likes the sun when they’re hungover. Vitamin D is great for fighting illness though, and you get loads of it just by being outside. Exercise also helps your white blood cells work faster and inhibits bacteria from growing.

Stay home


We know that you want to be a legend, but there’s always that one Fresher’s night that just isn’t as good as the others. You’re better than a middle-of-autumn foam rave. Have yourself a flat party, get to know your new pals and still achieve the desired effect with half of the physical trauma to your body.

How do you beat it?

If the outbreak does get to you, here’s what you do…


Don’t ignore the psychological aspects of Fresher’s Flu. Oftentimes, it can be brought on by stress or anxiety. Combat this by making sure you get a good night’s sleep and finding time to do things you enjoy.


Water. It’s the elixir of life and only hangover cure that truly works. Drinking alcohol dehydrates you and Fresher’s Flu symptoms will only make it worse. Be sure to get plenty of fluids inside you to compensate.

Take drugs


The right ones, obviously. Caffeine based cold medicines and good ol’ paracetamol are your best bets but here’s a lifehack – warm salt water works great for sore throats and blocked noses.

Make friends and stay in touch with home

Don’t let Fresher’s Flu turn you into a hermit. Illness is frequently exacerbated by homesickness. Though flu makes a difficult transition even harder, don’t shut yourself away – talking to your pals and keeping a good line of communication with home will definitely help you through it more than anything else.

Who knows? You might even get a care package out of it.