College is the first time you will be able to live independently as a young adult. It is empowering! However, you will have to advocate for yourself and manage your food allergies without the supervision of your parents. Though this may seem challenging, preparing ahead of time will help you manage the transition successfully.
When I was preparing for college, I talked to the dining hall manager before starting classes. We discussed their text-to-order system. It is better to do this before classes start, so you know what to do when eating at the university's dining hall. I also saw an allergist before going to college to find out if I developed any new food allergies.
Find food allergy information about different colleges here
Food allergies may be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. After you have chosen a college, discuss your food allergies with the disabilities office. They can help advocate for you. If there are any problems, you can work with the disability office to find a solution.
You will be experiencing a lot of new things in college, but make sure you still keep your safety in mind. When you go out, remember to bring your epinephrine and don't hesitate to use it.
It is very important to communicate with the dining hall manager as well as the disabilities office. Set up a meeting with them before you start the semester. I attend Rutgers University and I met with the manager of Busch Dining Hall (my campus' dining hall). They asked me about my allergies, my previous reactions, and what happens when I have an allergic reaction. Then they told me their procedure when a student has food restrictions. They have a Text-To-Order system in place. They transferred the information about my food allergies to their computer and wrote down my phone number. After looking at the menu, I would be able to text the dining hall and tell them what I would want to eat. They confirmed the order with the chef and then made it separately. You can read more about it on my blog.
Managing Food Allergies in your Dorm
When finding a roommate, make sure that they know about your food allergies. They may have to avoid foods that contain your allergen. There may be a fridge and microwave in your room, so make sure your roommate will not accidentally contaminate your food. It is also very important to teach them how to administer epinephrine, just in case of an emergency.