Matt Nofsinger: Surviving the Freshman Plague

Matt Nofsinger is a freshman from Charleston, South Carolina. He is planning to major in history or political science, but is currently undecided. At Wake Forest, Matt is a member of Rotaract, Running Club, and the Radio Station. During most of his time at school, Matt has also been fighting off the dreaded Freshman Plague. 

Her Campus: When did you first get the Freshman Plague?

Matt Nofsinger: I think it was two weeks after move in day, so it was pretty early on. I was only really sick for a day or two but I’ve had a permanent cough since then. 

HC: How did first get the plague?

MN: I don’t know. It was going around my hall; I’m at the end of the hall, so it came to me last. I was expecting it, I knew it was going to happen. 

HC: Did you think the Freshman Plague was just a rumor or did you expect to get it?

MN: I didn’t want to get the Freshman Plague, but I knew it was coming because I had heard rumors from upperclassmen that the Freshman Plague is a real thing. I feel like everyone, at some point, gets the Freshman Plague to some degree. 

HC: How has it impacted your adjustment to school and activities?

MN: I’ve only missed one class, my First Year Seminar at 11:15 AM because I was really sick and just slept through it. I woke up to my alarm at 9:15 AM and then went back to bed thinking “I can sleep for another 30 minutes,” but, I forgot to set another alarm and ended up sleeping until noon. I woke up and was freaking out because my class is downtown and ends at 12:30 PM, so there was nothing I could do. I was not proud of it but it happens. It [has also] affected my ability to run especially. I had to take a break from running for a few days because when I ran, I felt like I was coughing up a lung. 

HC: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do while sick during the past six weeks?

MN: Mainly just trying to have conversations with people without coughing. This, right now, is difficult. It’s definitely getting better, but a week ago I couldn’t get five words out without coughing up a lung. In college you have to talk to people and answering in class is really embarrassing because I raise my hand and then have to go “Hold on, wait,” until I finish coughing.

HC: Is there any advice you have for people to avoid the Freshman Plague?

MN: It’s pretty inevitable. Just get some sleep and don’t go to an iHop that’s 20 minutes away at 5 AM and then have to call a taxi back. Take it easy when you’re sick, because eventually it will go away — nobody is sick for life. If you get it, you get it; there’s not that much you can do about it. See Student Health or go to a CVS MinuteClinic. There are some things you can do, but it’s pretty inevitable.