Quick note: this will not be explaining how to deal with Freshers flu.  That can be explained in a few sentences.  Get some sleep.  Buy medicine and follow the instructions.  Speak to your family for advice.  Doctors if necessary.  Easy.  I presume you’ve been ill before so you should be okay with navigating these simple steps.  This is about doing things despite freshers flu.

So it happened.

Every year you go back to uni, for the first six weeks at least, people will ask you a single question, regardless of year or subject.  “So you had Freshers flu yet?”

This is a horrible question to ask for many reasons. One, the name is misleading.  The freshers neither exclusively bring the flu nor are they the only recipients of the flu (if they were this post would need not exist and would instead be called ‘Please stop coughing on me you tiny first years’).  Two, there are two main responses to this question, neither of which you want to hear.  You either get:

A) someone very smugly informing you that no, they haven’t had and everyone else has and they don’t know what everyone is complaining about


B) A run down of exactly what someone consumed that day and the various creative ways their body has expelled them in less than 24 hours

No one wants to hear about either of those things and so officially I am stating that this post is going to be neither of these things.  Yes, I am ill at the moment.  It finally caught up with me which shouldn’t be that surprising considering the last two weeks have been exclusively about meeting as many new people as possible.

It isn’t terrible though.  The only time I was genuinely ill enough to not get up was on a weekend in first year when I slept for 14 hours.  Most students do that anyway! It’s not fair!

But I digress.  This illness is more along the lines of your classic cold.  I have the sniffles. I have a headache.  Luckily I have not yet developed the cough, a symptom which is the most infuriating thing as you have to spend your lectures practically choking yourself so you don’t disturb other people with the noise.  But with this milder illness comes its difficulties.  You see I’m not ill enough to miss anything or turn down social offers but I do feel grumpy at having to go.

For example, a friend asked me to come to a society social for moral support which I agreed to because you can’t complain to someone you’re not invited anywhere and then immediately not go to things you are invited to.  Them’s the rules.  However I went home (a mistake) and switched into pyjamas (a bigger mistake) and started watching videos on my laptop (the ultimate mistake).  I was comfy and I had an excuse.  I could of texted to say ‘Not feeling well, sorry!’ which would of been replied to with ‘Aww, no worries, rest up! Feel better soon!’  But you can’t do that because then you get what I am going to begin referring to as MIG, or Mild Illness Guilt.  You’re ill but not quite ill enough.  So I got out of bed, I put my jeans back on, threw on a jacket and went to the social.

Surprisingly it was a very fun night.   Me, my friend, and a person I vaguely knew formed a gang.  We bonded over shared dislikes, insulted my friend (lovingly of course) over her position in the committee, and the whole thing was over in under an hour (well the social wasn’t over but it moved into town and we were cleared to leave).

I even forgot to complain I was ill.

Wisdom for Today:

Do that thing you don’t want to do because it might be more fun than expected.  Unless it’s illegal.  Or dangerous.  Then maybe don’t do that.  It’s really only useful on a case by case basis.