Going off to college is a life milestone that is both exciting and stressful. But leaving home for college is especially unsettling if you have a food allergy. Managing your food allergies is a challenging learning curve in itself, but managing food allergies at college adds other concerns.
Finding a cooperative process in which to work with your college is a good first step in taking care of your dietary needs. However, be prepared in case you run into a roadblock. Not all food services departments of colleges are the same when it comes to understanding and responding to students with food allergies.
Some universities offer a meal exemption plan, but this often requires living in the dorm and sharing a communal kitchen with fifty or so students. If this is not a viable option, you may need to write to the dean. Ideally, an apartment on campus offers the most safety and control of your diet.
Be proactive and prepare early as you begin to look at colleges and take a look at their food services. Having a food service representative who understands the challenges of food allergies is a big advantage.
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