For most, Freshers’ Flu is a mandatory part of that all-important first week at Uni that waves goodbye to home cooking and creature comforts, and says hello to drinking vodka from a saucepan. Aside from setting you up for the next three years of abusing your body, Freshers’ Flu can ruin you in a variety of other ways – the most common being; fever, sore throat, sickness, headaches and generally feeling in a state of mortal peril. The only real remedy is to stay in your halls, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep, but where’s the fun in that? Statistically 90% of students suffer from Freshers’ Flu every year, so for that 10% of you who don’t, this article isn’t for you.
I’m not about to tell you to stay in, eat your greens or go to the library but you don’t need to drink yourself into A&E either. These are the top ten realistic rules for surviving Freshers (also commonly mistaken as “First Year”) that will send you on your way to your doom (also known as Third Year).
Rule 1: Man up! It’s probably not as bad as you think. If you can, drag yourself out of bed, have a shower and go get a Big Mac, it will make you feel better.
Rule 2: Make a dent in your reading list. That’s if you can find/read/stomach it. I’m not insisting you read the books, but it will make you realise there are worse things happening, or about to happen in your life right now.
Rule 3: Drink ample water. This one is quite responsible, but it’s quick, easy and painless, not to mention it would give your liver a shock and a half.
Rule 4: Traffic cones are not friends. It might be funny at the time, but the sheer embarrassment when you wake up will only add to your already existing pain.
Rule 5: Like cures like. Put down the tea and hit the top shelf, nothing nurses a hangover like a good ‘hair of the dog’. To avoid topping up your shame from the night before, do not attempt this rule if you wake up still drunk.
Rule 6: Approach Fancy Dress with caution. There’s nothing worse than looking back in three years to see that all you wore one night was a crash helmet and an ill-fitting bin bag trying to pose as Darth Vader. Light sabre jokes inevitable. Trust me.
Rule 7: A picture is worth a thousand words. That dreaded feeling you get when you wake up to find last night’s immodesty has been documented and uploaded to Facebook is comparable to falling down a well. If you can’t trust yourself to be good, wear a mask.
Rule 8: Nobody cares about your gap year. Forget about your Flu for a moment and think of everybody else. Let’s face it, droning on about how you helped de-worm a baby elephant in Gambia will only cause suffering for your hungover audience.
Rule 9: Vitamins are the one. Stock up on vitamins and juices and stuff to keep your immune system fighting all that poorly purified vodka you’re pouring into yourself every night, and then hide it in your room (advertising your assortment of pills will make you look mental in front of potential friends).
Rule 10: Just be yourself. This constantly being surrounded by strangers may be your only opportunity to get rid of that alias you’ve been harbouring and reinvent yourself, but don’t completely forget who you are.
In short, just go wherever, drink whatever, kiss whomever, have fun and make the most of the time when you’re feeling at your most independent, because for every student having a good time, there’s a teacher waiting to creep up and slap you in the face with an essay deadline.