So, you’ve finally made it to college, and you’re all set with a cute new dorm room, awesome friends, and an exciting new life ahead of you. But, there’s one thing that might be lurking around the corner that no one really talks about… the Freshman Flu! I don’t know about you, but I’m the type that feels like even the slightest symptom is COVID, and trust me, being a hypochondriac is no fun for anyone.
So, what’s the deal with the Freshman Flu and how can it impact your life? Why do people get it, and more importantly, how can we avoid it? In this article, we’ll be breaking it all down for you, girl!
1. What the Heck is the Freshman Flu?
The Freshman Flu isn’t like an actual, medically diagnosed condition or anything, but it’s a term we use to describe that nasty cold or flu that seems to hit college freshmen really hard. It’s like, you’re all excited about starting college, and then BAM, you’re hit with a cold that makes you feel like you’ve been run over by a truck.
2. Why Do We Get It?
Honestly, it’s a mix of things. For starters, you’re now living in close quarters with a bunch of new people, and that means you’re exposed to new germs. Plus, let’s be real, your immune system is probably not in tip-top shape. Late nights, stress, and maybe a few too many parties can make it easier for viruses to get the best of you.
3. Best Way to Avoid It: Prioritize Self-Care
One of the best ways to avoid getting the Freshman Flu is to take care of yourself. Like, really take care of yourself. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking time for yourself to relax and unwind.
- Sleep: Make sure you’re getting enough ZZZs every night. It’s easy to get caught up in the college life, but if you’re constantly burning the candle at both ends, your immune system will pay the price. Aim for at least 7-8 hours a night.
- Eat well: This can be tough in the dining hall, but try your best to make healthy choices. Load up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains when you can.
- Relax: College is stressful, so find ways to unwind. This could be taking a yoga class, going for a walk, or simply reading a book in your dorm room.
4. Vitamins to Take!
Alright, girls, we all know that a balanced diet is super important for our overall health, but sometimes it’s not enough, especially when we’re trying to avoid the Freshman Flu. So, here are some of the best vitamins and supplements you can take to boost your immune system and stay healthy. These are my personal go-to’s whenever I feel a little off!
Vitamin D is essential for a strong immune system, and we usually get it from sunlight. But let’s be real, between classes and studying, we might not be getting enough sun. That’s where Vitamin D3 comes in! The recommended dosage for most people is between 600-800 IU daily;.
Vitamin C is a classic immune booster and antioxidant. It helps protect our cells from damage and supports our body’s natural defenses. The recommended daily dosage is about 75 mg for women, but it’s safe to take up to 2,000 mg per day. You can get Vitamin C from supplements or from foods like oranges, strawberries, and bell peppers.
Zinc is another essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in supporting our immune system. It helps with the production of immune cells, wound healing, and even the proper functioning of our taste and smell senses. A zinc deficiency can weaken our immune response, making us more susceptible to illnesses like the Freshman Flu. Ladies, the daily amount of zinc we should be aiming for is around 8 mg, but ya know, when our immune system is really being tested, it could be a good idea to take a bit extra (but don’t go over 40 mg per day, okay?). Zinc can be found in yummy foods like red meat, chicken, beans, nuts, and whole grains, or you can totally take it as a supplement if that’s more your style.
Quercetin is a plant-based antioxidant that can help support your immune system. It’s found in foods like onions, apples, and green tea, but you can also take it as a supplement. The usual recommended dosage is about 500-1,000 mg daily.
A good multivitamin can help fill in any nutritional gaps and support your overall health. When choosing a multivitamin, look for one that includes a mix of essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as B vitamins, iron, and zinc.
By adding these vitamins and supplements to your daily routine, you’ll be giving your immune system a little extra support to help fight off the Freshman Flu.
Just remember, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. Stay healthy, ladies!
5. Wash Your Hands and Keep Your Space Clean!
Germs are everywhere, girl. So don’t forget to wash those hands often and keep your living space nice and tidy. This means giving your phone, laptop, and anything else you touch a lot a good wipe-down. Oh, and if you’ve been sick, toss out that old toothbrush!
6. Listen to Your Body
If you’re starting to feel a bit off or think you’re getting sick, don’t just brush it off! Chill out, catch up on sleep, and maybe even ditch that party or all-night study sesh. Taking care of yourself now is way better than pushing too hard and ending up feeling even worse.
7. What to Do If You Get the Freshman Flu
So, you did everything you could, but the Freshman Flu still gotcha. Don’t stress, girl! Here’s what you gotta do:
- Sleep it off: For real, the best thing you can do when you’re feeling under the weather is to sleep it off. Give your body the time and energy it needs to bounce back.
- Hydrate: Don’t forget to keep sipping on fluids like water, tea, or even some cozy soup. Staying hydrated is key to flushing out those icky germs and getting you back on your feet faster.
- Take meds, but be smart: Over-the-counter meds can def help with those awful symptoms, but be sure to follow the directions and don’t go overboard.
- Ask for a helping hand: Don’t be shy about asking your friends, your roomie, or even your RA for some support. They can help with food, supplies, or just be there for you when you need a little emotional boost.
- Keep your germs to yourself: As much as you want to power through and head to class, it’s better to stay in your dorm when you’re really sick. This way, you won’t spread germs to your fellow classmates.
There you have it, ladies! The Freshman Flu is something that many of us will face, but with these tips, you can do your best to avoid it and handle it if it does strike. Stay healthy and enjoy your freshman year!
What Do You Think?
Do you have anything to add to this article that you think our team missed? Were you one of the unlucky ones that caught the freshman flu? Let us know in the comments section below!