There is a mysterious disease that appears around September time and is gone by Christmas. It lurks in the corridors and courtyards of university campuses and brutally cuts down freshmen and older students alike. Even professors and staff are not immune. It makes its sinister way through the faculty and student population every year. And every year it is as Camus describes in The Plague:
“there are no individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague”. I am of course talking about ‘Fresher’s Flu’.
Our immune systems tune their defenses to our environment so congratulations because you are currently immune to every nasty infection that hangs out in the snot of the children in your small hometown in Ohio.
But one surefire way to bitchslap you immune system into submission is to move into shared lodgings along with thousands of other people from all over the country and immediately begin drinking and having intercourse with said people.
Even if you are studious and sensible in your habits – your prudence will not spare you. It only takes a small number of students to start poking the Angel of Death until she is annoyed enough to start smiting. And the Angel of Death is pretty indiscriminate whenb she’s pissed off and the ancient Egyptians will tell you.
The symptoms are hard to pin down but according to Wikipedia,
“symptoms include fever, sore throat, severe headache, coughing and general discomfort”. Today, many modern students are brought up in mollycoddled, germ-free homes where the only thing haunting the corridors is their mother’s kindly smile. Put them on a campus and their helplessness in the face of minor illness become immediately apparent.
So what should you do to avoid Fresher’s Flu? Well excessive alcohol, lack of sleep and poor diet are things to avoid. And proper hygiene routines should be kept up and… hell… whatever… I know you’re not listening any more…