I never realized how difficult life in college could be for someone with serious food allergies. So much of life is communal — a real problem for those who need to strictly control what they come in contact with.
Here are two examples from USA Today‘s Managing a food allergy in college — expert advice:
First there are all the parties:
SHARING IS NOT CARING: “My friends sometimes laugh at me or think I’m a little crazy to refuse drinks from huge common containers, or share shot glasses or whatever, but it’s something that I really have to be thinking about,” Ogborn said.
Then there’s the cafeteria:
ALL-YOU-CAN’T-EAT: “There’s a lot of self-service [in dining halls], and obviously most of your peers don’t really understand the risk, so we allow the student to know that that risk is present,” Newhard said. “Then it’s up to the student and their parents to determine, ‘OK, am I going to take that risk or not?’ In a case where [the allergy] is anaphylactic, I always say absolutely do not use the self-service areas.”