Health Wellbeing

Surviving post-fresher’s flu

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Aside from all the great new friends you’ll make this year here at Manchester, there’s one thing you’ll definitely want to stay away from or at least recover fast from – the dreaded fresher’s flu. This guide tells you all you need to know about this legendary illness, how to ease your symptoms if you get ill, and how to prevent catching it in the first place:


Rather than some inexplicable illness targeting first year students, fresher’s flu is actually more akin to the common cold and is a general term for a range of symptoms including sore throats, congestion, coughs, body-aches, headaches and general fatigue.

It’s very common and nothing to worry about – symptoms of fresher’s flu affect students and staff members alike and will usually last no more than a week. If you find your symptoms are still not getting better, it is probably best to check in with your GP (see our guide to registering below.)

It’s no coincidence it strikes early on – during your first few weeks, the relentless socialising, information overloading and heavy partying can mean your immune system takes a bit of a hit. Alongside this, your body gets exposed to a range of new germs from the many nationalities here at Manchester, against which it is not yet immune. Hence, your chances of getting ill shoot up!


  • Stay hydrated – to flush out toxins and replace what’s lost from sweating/runny noses – lovely!
  • Take painkillers – even if you’re not in pain, painkillers help to regulate your body temperature, just make sure to take the recommended dosage.
  • Eat well – get cosy with some fruit and veg to boost your nutrient intake, and steer clear of those late night kebabs!
  • Rest a lot – give your body time to recover, queue that boxset on Netflix and get as much sleep as you can.
  • See a Pharmacist – they give great advice and can provide more specialist medication if needed.
  • Chicken soup – although not medically proven, eating chicken soup is apparently fantastic for getting over fresher’s flu!


  • Get to sleep – try taking naps in the day (you’re a student so trust us, you’re allowed) and having at least 1 night off during the week.
  • Wash hands (and yourself!) regularly and avoid touching face without washing hands first.
  • Try to drink between 8-10 glasses of water a day – especially important if you’re going out drinking and run the risk of a hungover as well!
  • Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet. Supplements like multi-vitamins and vitamin C tablets can also be great at staving off fresher’s flu.


It is only recommended that you see a GP if symptoms persist for more than a week.

It’s super easy to get registered with a GP practice and takes as little as 5 minutes, and by doing it early you’ll save yourself the hassle of going through it when you’ve already been struck with illness. All the information you need can be found here, but in brief, all you need to do to get registered is:

  1. Locate a local practice using the NHS website.
  2. Gather together some I.D, the name and address of your existing GP and proof of address (e.g halls of residence tenancy agreement).
  3. Drop in to the practice to fill in a GMS1 form. Done!
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