Freshers’ Flu: Beat The Viral Machine!

You thought you had missed it the first time around. You survived freshers week, you survived the first term of 9AM lectures, you even survived the Christmas Parties, but now crisis has hit.

You have been struck down by the green gooey monster that is the bane of all student’s lives: (re-)freshers’ flu!

Freshers flu occurs due to the heavy drinking, poor diets, and late nights of students when they start university, which lowers the immune system. The close proximity to other students allows the flu to spread easily.

Whether you’re a fresher or a “sensible” third-year student, this terrible affliction takes no prisoners. Struck down by the plague? Here are some trusty tips to get you fighting fit in time in no time.

Keep warm

This might seem tough at uni, you either seem to be far too hot in the library or stuck in a drafty student house. But with temperatures hitting -7c this week, staying warm is imperative!

You need to look after yourself and snuggle under your duvet – the perfect excuse to work from bed. When you decide to leave the confines of your room, make sure you grab a scarf and woolly jumper. You’ll be glad of that hot water bottle your mum convinced you to take with you.

Lots of fluid

Unfortunately , am not talking about Jagerbombs, I am talking about a good old English cup of tea. That or water, squash or a hot honey and lemon – you firstly want to keep your throat lubricated but you also want to try and flush out the infection.

Lemon is great for reducing catarrh, and honey can soothe a razor sore throat. Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, so adding some of this to your tea can work wonders.

Soup is a great meal for when you are ill as it also provides your body with a lot of much-needed liquid.

Get some rest

This might be starting to feel like a real killjoy but if you want to get better you need your beauty sleep.

Dancing the night away till 3am is not going to be doing your immune system any favours. So dodge the party invites for a couple of nights, turn off your phone and dedicate a few evenings to ‘Stranger Things’, and an early night.

Proper food

Now you may struggle to make some home-cooked chicken soup in your student digs, but you don’t have much of an excuse for not peeling an orange.

You need your strength: so that means some proper dinners – pizza not included, a whole lot of vegetables, and a trusty carton of orange juice. The best foods to eat when you’re ill include

  • chicken soup
  • garlic and ginger
  • spicy foods
  • bananas
  • porridge
  • yoghurt
  • fruit and vegetables

Some foods/ drinks you want to avoid include:

  • milk
  • cheese
  • alcohol
  • chocolate
  • cream


Freshers flu is, unfortunately, something you have to wait out. However, if you followed these tips, your recovery shouldn’t be too long!

Hope you all get better soon!


Eleanor Booth writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.