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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. 

Abigail Yearout

Wake Forest '23

Abigail Yearout is a freshman health and exercise science major on a pre-med track at Wake Forest University. She is from St. Louis, Missouri but grew up and will always be a Colorado girl at heart. She loves reading, long road trips and is down for ice cream at any time of day. She hopes to attend medical school immediately following college and ultimately become a neurosurgeon. Until then, she's enjoying the best of college and writing for Her Campus in her free time.
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