Fast fixes for freshers’ flu

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Freshers’ flu: perhaps the most inevitable part of moving to university. However, how do you get through it? We all have our own remedies and this is mine, learnt through my father growing up and while perhaps not the most unusual, it is effective, nevertheless. Firstly, to treat a sore throat: hot honey and lemon. The fresher the lemon juice the better, but effective either way; a dash of honey, or several spoons’ worth depending on your measurements and, as an extra, you can also add ginger or cinnamon. Ginger is sometimes referred to as a natural antibiotic. Other remedies I have learnt that aid freshers’ flu during my time at Durham include: increasing your vitamin C intake through juice or sachets, as well as making sure to eat healthily and normally even if you do not feel like it. However, when all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a steady supply of paracetamol or Lemsip to get yourself through the day.

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I vaguely remember freshers’ flu. Or at least people around me having it. Yes, folks, I experienced freshers’ week in its original form. Before the dreaded Covid-19 hit. Sounds mythical at this point, I know. But, regardless of your disbelief at such outlandish statements, there is a simple solution. Medication from the far east, if you would. This gem originated in Korea and all you need is leftover eggs after your pitiful try at an omelette, some water, and salt.

Yes, it is that simple. If you have got some leftover vegetables and you aren’t sure how you’ll use them, cut ‘em up and throw ‘em in because it just works. When you eat the bubbly goodness that is gyren-jjim, I tell you, my friends, it is warm, soft, savoury, and best of all doesn’t require any real effort. Trust me: after a hangover, make a warm pot of it and just dig in. It holds back regrets for a while. Right until formatives from my experience.

Freshers’ flu: perhaps the most inevitable part of moving to university.

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Ah the dreaded freshers’ flu, I’ve been lucky to say I’ve only had it once in three years. But, I’m even luckier to have my friends who all taught me these techniques to help prevent it. My cure is not a cure, but a proactive trick to stave off the worst of it. It’s a cocktail of medicine, of vitamins and of food. Though I must start
by saying nothing helped me more to avoid freshers’ flu than wearing a mask. That’s right, I did it pre-Covid-19 and it worked. But, even if I catch it still, you’ll find me taking all of this every morning, until at least November. Every morning I have a spoon of 蜜煉川貝枇杷膏 [Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa] (the most important and delicious thing listed that can be bought from the Everyday Oriental market in town), a spoon of manuka honey (the strongest one), vitamin D supplements and warm soups for lunch.

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The first time I remember having this was just before my family and I went whitewater rafting. It was so spicy that it made me cry. However, it did stop me from getting hypothermia when we eventually capsized. Ginger tea is great for warming you up from the inside when you are bedridden, miserable and feel like your bones are frozen. Drinking it can also help soothe sore throats and stomach aches (though you are advised not to drink it if you’re having an acute one, as it could make it worse). Thankfully, you don’t need to make it quite as spicy as the first time that I had it for it to work.

All you have to do is boil a couple cups of water, peel and chop up a few slices of ginger, and pop it into a pot along with a few tablespoons of brown sugar for roughly ten minutes. The longer you boil the ginger, the spicier your tea will be, so keep that in mind! Once it’s all ready, just curl up in your blanket and enjoy!

Nothing helped me more to avoid freshers’ flu than wearing a mask. That’s right, I did it pre-Covid-19 and it worked.

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Not all freshers’ flu remedies must be healthy, nutritious and full of vitamin C. When you’re suffering from an unrelenting cold, the last thing you’ll want to do is eat a plate of overcooked broccoli or down a fiery ginger shot. Sometimes, the best way to fight fresher’s flu is to eat something that brings you comfort and fuels
the endorphins that have inevitably died down due to the first week of lectures. Chocolate melt-in-the-middle puddings are, therefore, the perfect remedy. After only 40 seconds in the microwave, these unassuming black pots are inverted onto a plate, ready to lift your spirits. Eat them straight from the pot, if you’re feeling really rough. However, you’ll miss the wonderful sight of the chocolate river that flows from the pudding’s centre when you take that first gooey bite. Requiring virtually no kitchen equipment, they are ideal for students in catered and self-catered accommodation alike. What’s more, they will only set you back two pounds for two in Tesco!

No, they aren’t healthy, nor what your doctor would recommend. However, their warmth, soft texture and the rich chocolate flavour will do wonders for the dreaded lurgy that comes with the start of university.

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By the end of freshers’ week, you will inevitably be feeling a little worse for wear. The first few days of socialising and drinking can leave you worn out, and in desperate need of some TLC. My proposal is the perfect façade for if you want to keep the party spirit going, without dealing with the consequences the next day. My most trusted remedy is an orange and rosemary spritz. This mocktail is made with orange juice, a homemade rosemary sugar syrup, topped up with soda water. When served in a tall glass with some crushed ice, a slice of orange and a sprig of rosemary, the drink looks and tastes delicious. Packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, this remedy possesses anti-inflammatory properties that will soothe your symptoms and boost the immune system. Plus, it’s practically one of your five a day!*

If you are still feeling particularly brave, you can turn the mocktail into a cocktail by substituting the orange juice for Aperol, and the soda water for Prosecco. Delicate on the palette, this drink will help ease your ailments and encourage you to bounce back.

*Disclaimer: it is not actually one of your five a day, but you can pretend it is.

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