I think the phenomena is relatively universal. Kids come in from all over the world, get together at “uni,” don’t have enough to do and go out every night their first week. At the exact same time, the year’s first cold spell comes through.
Combine a little alcohol, a little free time, a little cold, and a lot of 18-25 year olds, and what do you get? A lot of sick people.
Except Oxford, gracefully, has given this occurrence a name. “Freshers’ flu.” It’s not uncommon in Oxford to put the moniker “fresher” — the Oxford word for a first year student — on an event. The most famous of these is the fresher’s fair, in which every student activity known to man gets in the examination buildings and bombards you with flyers. But slightly more infamous is the fresher’s flu– which is exactly what I have right now.