The start of the academic year is ever so exciting – new friends, classes, and experiences. But unfortunately, that also comes with… new germs. That’s right; we’re talking about the notorious “freshers’ flu”, a pesky illness that tends to spread like wildfire on university campuses. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll share our top tips on avoiding falling victim to the dreaded freshers’ flu…
1. Think About Getting Your Flu Vaccine
Getting a flu shot is a simple and effective way to prevent the flu. You can usually get one at your local pharmacy or doctor’s practice; many universities offer them on campus. The vaccine helps your body build immunity to the flu virus, significantly reducing your chances of getting sick. So, before the start of term, look into getting your flu vaccine; it may just prevent you from getting poorly.
2. Wash Your Hands and Keep Germs at Bay
Washing your hands may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. Use soap and water and scrub your hands for at least 40 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, coughing, or sneezing. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitiser. And remember, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands! Check out the NHS guide on the best way to wash your hands.
3. Snooze Your Way to Health
Late nights and early mornings are a staple of university life, but research tells us getting enough sleep is crucial for a healthy immune system. Aim for seven or more hours of sleep per night to give your body the rest it needs to fight germs. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try establishing a bedtime routine or using relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing.
4. Eat Smart, Feel Great
Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help keep your immune system strong. Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and processed foods. Of course, this may be difficult in your first few weeks of uni, as you only want to party and treat yourself to hangover food. But an unbalanced diet can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. So, make sure you get some vitamins and minerals in your diet. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
5. Sharing Personal Items is a No-Go!
Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to germs. Water bottles, utensils, and makeup brushes can quickly spread germs. So, avoiding sharing these items with fellow students is essential to reduce your chances of getting sick.
6. Keep Your Living Space Sparkling and Clean
Regularly cleaning your living space, especially shared areas like the kitchen and bathroom, can help prevent the spread of germs. Use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean surfaces, and make sure to wash dishes and utensils thoroughly. And if you’re sharing a bathroom with roommates, consider setting up a cleaning schedule to ensure everyone does their part.
7. Social Butterflies, Listen Up… Take Breaks from Socialising
Making new friends and socialising are integral to university life, but don’t forget to take breaks when needed. If you’re feeling run down or under the weather, skipping a party and taking a night off to rest and recharge is okay. Your body will thank you for it.
The Symptoms of Freshers’ Flu to Look Out For
Are you feeling a bit under the weather after moving to university? It could be the freshers’ flu! Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- Runny or stuffy nose: Ah, the classic sign of a cold – a nose that won’t stop running or feels like it’s filled with cement.
- Sore throat: If you’re feeling a little scratchy or have a bit of pain when swallowing, it might be due to freshers’ flu.
- Cough: Whether it’s a tickle in your throat or a deep cough, it could be a symptom.
- Headache: Nothing ruins your day quite like a pounding headache.
- Fatigue: If you’re feeling extra tired or rundown, it might indicate that your body is fighting off an infection.
- Fever: If you’re running a temperature, it’s a sign that your body is working hard to fight off whatever bug you have caught.
Remember, these symptoms can be like other illnesses, too, so don’t panic! Just take care of yourself, get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated. Make sure you seek medical attention if you’re worried. And don’t forget to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of germs.
What to Do If You Get Sick
Even with your best prevention efforts, sometimes you still might get sick. If that happens, here’s what you should do:
- Rest and stay hydrated: Your body needs rest and fluids to fight illness.
- Seek medical attention if necessary: If you have severe symptoms or feel like you need medical attention, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact a medical professional right away.
- Communicate with your professors: If you miss class or assignments due to illness, let your professors know as soon as possible.
- Avoid spreading the illness to others: Stay home, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing (wearing a mask is best!), and avoid close contact with others until you’re feeling better.
Get well soon!
What Exactly is Freshers’ Flu?
Everyone talks about it at university, but what exactly is it? Freshers’ flu is a combination of viruses, including the common cold and influenza. With so many new people coming from around the world in close quarters, it’s no wonder that germs can quickly be passed around. Plus, being in a new environment can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
While freshers’ flu may be common on university campuses, it’s not inevitable. By following these tips and caring for yourself, you can stay healthy and enjoy your first year to the fullest. So go out there, make friends, and have fun – just don’t forget to wash your hands.
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