Avoiding Catching the "Freshman Bug" As Told By Someone Who Actually Did

It’s that time of year again! Freshmen from all corners of the world travel thousands of miles (or maybe just a couple miles) to move into their dorms on campus. As a result, campus turns into a petri dish of germs, both foreign and domestic, that all mix together suddenly and create an outbreak of the infamous "Freshman Plague/Influenza/Bug."

Characterized by incessant coughing, a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, body aches and so many more vague symptoms, the illness tends to get around. However, regardless of what everyone has told you, no, you are not doomed to catch it! There are a few specific things you can start doing to make you a steel safe of health in this uncertain time.

  1. 1. Pay attention to how many times you go out per week.

    It’s okay to miss a few nights here and there! The frat parties are the perfect places for other peoples’ sweaty germs to be rubbed onto you. Not to mention, you’re probably staying up obscenely late, which leads into my next point…


  2. 2. If you’re not sleeping at least seven hours a night, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

    One of the most well-known and important tips ever. Give yourself time to recover and rest; your body will thank you.

  3. 3. Buy Sambucol.

    Take 10mL every night before you go to bed. (You can also get it in gummy or tablet form, but liquid is best in my opinion.) This syrupy “medication” is more of an immune system booster. It’s made purely of black elderberry extract; it tastes a little strange but follow it with some water and it’s not bad. I highly recommend Sambucol — I have never gotten the flu in my entire life. It also protected me from the Swine Flu when my town was swept in 2009. Serious stuff!

  4. 4. Get yourself some spray hand sanitizer.

    The spray forms are the best because you can easily carry them around in your backpack. Use copiously throughout the day — everything you touch is a threat! This is especially important before you eat, for obvious reasons

  5. 5. Keep your room clean!

    Your room should be your safe haven in sickness prevention. You should vacuum, wipe flat surfaces with Clorox wipes to reduce dusk and stray germs, and use Lysol spray on fabrics and for the air somewhat regularly. I like to spray Lysol in the air and concentrate on bedding/chairs and then turn my fan on high to spread it around and dry it out.

If you can do these five things religiously, you will be in a far safer situation. Prevention beats trying to battle the "Freshman Bug" when you already have it, so be committed to your health! It’s the foundation for which everything else is built upon. Good luck!