The Freshers’ Flu. Annual scourge of the first years; the thing that makes every lecture sound like a group of choking toads had cross-bred with a very angry bag of crisps. Cough cough. Yours truly had it, as have a lot of students. But, I hear you asking, what is it, where does it come from, and how can I survive the inevitable desolation?
As to the first question (what is it?), the answer is- it’s flu, stupid.
As to the second, (where did it come from?), there are many competing theories in this regard. The first is that aliens brought it over in ancient times as a method of making stone circles. Historians suggest that it was introduced to us by Native Americans who had come over to sell our cheap beads back to us. The answer is, we simply do not know.
Sadly, there’s probably no real way to avoid it, short of painting ‘X’ on the doors of the unwell, and doing the whole “bring out yer dead!” thing (N.B. if you do do this, remember that though they may claim not to be dead, they soon will be).
However, despite the inevitable spread of the dreaded malady -not to mention my own contraction of it, there are some things you can do. For example, in the event of Fluclear War, remember to duck, cover, and stock lots of tins of Spam. With this simple method, you too may survive the incredibly localised apocalypse.
Other, more sane procedures I’d personally suggest, are bring tissues. LOTS of tissues. The amount of times I have seen people completely without tissues, or armed only with a single one, is beyond sanity. I would suggest bringing enough to support a small, healthy nation roughly the size of Burkina Faso, since any fewer generally results in you blowing your nose with a small rag the size of a postage stamp for a full seminar (don’t ask me where the rest of the tissue goes- Narnia probably, considering all the small bits of snowy powder that seem to take its place in your pocket.)
Secondly, if you’re going to a lecture, then I think the smart option would probably be to sit at the front, so that if and when when you sneeze, you don’t rain bacteria down on the healthy people like it’s a White Christmas turned Green. Nobody wants that, especially with your tiny postage stamp tissue not wasting any time in shrinking to a size only visible to electron microscopes and Ronnie Corbett.