Student Survival: Freshers Flu

In the roughly two weeks that I haven’t written anything for you lovely people I have moved myself back down to university and we have now reached the end of what is known as “Freshers Week” which is effectively a week long bar crawl for the new first year students. The downside of this is that you are in close (sometimes very close, if you’re particularly friendly) contact with a lot of new people, eating rubbish food, drinking five times your own body weight in alcohol a reasonable amount of alcohol and staying out til god knows what time in the chilly mornings without a coat, because no-one takes a coat to the club. The punishment for your week of sordid debauched revelry is that you will be struck down by the most evil and sadistic malady that you can think of.
FRESHERS FLU

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For those of you that don’t know, Freshers Flu is like being stuffed into an airtight sack whilst someone beats you with sticks and another throws rocks at your head basically just flu that is brought on by the poor lifestyle and large amounts of new people that you’ll interact with in your first few weeks of Uni. The problem is that this is no normal flu. This is the Chuck Norris and Mr T love child of flu in that it will hit you so hard and leave you feeling like you’ve just been taken 20 rounds with Clubber Lang (Rocky 3, anybody? No?). Whilst suffering from this despicable disease you are still expected to socialise, cook, clean (alright, lets be honest this ones optional) and *shudder* go to lectures! The horror! To get through this testing time and due to the fact that one of my housemates has infected me this weekend, I thought I would lay out a few ground rules to help you deal with the fact that your head is now THE place to be for thrumming dance baselines and drumbeats.

Hydrate
Drinking lots of fluids is vital to keep you functioning well and your mouth not tasting like a toxic wasteland. Just a side note, alcohol is not the fluid to hydrate with, try to stick to orange juice, water and other “healthy” alternatives.

Sleep
Maybe lay off the clubbing for a night or two and get to bed early. If you’re not sleeping and resting enough then you’ll be completely run down and you’ll end up trapped in the claws of this vicious illness. The clubs will be there all year and people won’t avoid you as much if you’re not sneezing all over them.

Eat Real Food
Swap your takeaway for some home cooked grub. Spaghetti Bolognese is pretty easy to make and you can get some vegetables in it to give your poor student immune system a bit of a boost. You can find a great recipe for an omelette right here and for many other easy recipes, check out the guys over at SORTED

Drugs
If all else fails nuke the crap out of it with cold and flu tablets, lemsip and everything else that will help. Chemical warfare is COMPLETELY justified in this instance.

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Dealing With Your Hangover: A Guide

I feel that it is safe to say that I have had my fair share of hangovers. As a student, a lot of your first year is spent socialising and attempting to make new and interesting friends and this usually involves the use of nights on the town and a fair bit of alcohol. From time to time you will likely over indulge and whilst you may feel amazing when still drunk, in the morning you will have to face the soul crushing agony that is…

THE HANGOVER

The hangover is your body’s way for punishing you for having too much of a good time the night before. It is “the experience of various unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. The most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria, diarrhea and thirst, typically after the intoxicating effect of the alcohol begins to wear off.”
Sounds like hell right? Luckily, most hangovers don’t feature ALL of the symptoms, but merely a combination of a few – unless you’re really unlucky. So what can you do to fight back against this torment? Well, the first step is knowledge. “Forewarned is forearmed” as many great strategists have said after all.

The way I see it, there are a few different types of Hangover Sufferers and they all deal with them in their own way. Sometimes, a hangover may be so incredibly soul destroying that it resists the allocated treatment for your kind of hangover, so feel free to mix and match should that day ever come. But, straight on to the first type!

The Sleeper

The Sleeper is probably one of the most common forms of hangover sufferers. The only thing that can cure the insatiable pounding in their heads that resembles a 90s trance disco is to stay asleep for as long as humanly possible. This leads to the view that most students (as they are of course almost always hungover) are zombies. Wandering around, barely functioning and trying just to stay alive. The Sleeper requires a good 12 to 20 hours of sleep the day after a heavy night and no amount of sunlight will help!

The Exerciser

“Up and at ’em!” is the best way to describe this group. The layabout ways of The Sleeper have absolutely no place here as Exercisers need to get up and get moving, despite the splitting pain in their head. Hitting the gym, going for a run or cycle or even a brisk walk will blitz the toxic fumes left roaming the body and within a short time, you’ll be back up to a functioning level of humanity.

The Eater

Food. Food. FOOD! That’s what you need and it had better be fried! Eggs, bacon, sausage, anything. You need a lot of it and the greasier the better. All the fats from the fried food will soak up any remaining alcohol in your stomach and cure the roiling belly, possibly your least favourite part of the hangover.

The Preparer

If you’re a Preparer then you’ll have forced down some chips or toast before you get to bed, just so that you can let the carbs soak up some of your boozy binge whilst you try to sleep it off. Chances are, you’ll have also chugged a pint of crisp and cold water before stumbling your way up the stairs and plonking that second glass of water on your bedside table, ready for the morning – usually with a berocca next to it.

Personally, I’m an Exerciser. I get up early every morning anyway and I love hitting the gym so it makes it pretty easy to drag myself up and out of bed the morning after an over indulgance. That said, I do keep a glass of water by my bed, just in case. It never hurts to be prepared 😉