Hi! I am 20 and I was just diagnosed with celiac disease in September. I just had a blood test to see if I had celiac disease and have been on the gluten free diet for about 4 months and all seems to be going well! (of course there are still really bad days, but that's to be expected I guess!) Anyway, to answer some of your questions... first about the parents! In the beginning I was extremely frustrated because I felt like no one understood what I was going through. And worse than that, I felt like they didn't want to do anything to educate themselves about celiac disease either. That's probably the stage that you are at right now! But, as the months go on I have found that my parents are starting to help me out with the diet and are thoroughly interested in celiac disease in general. Of course, there are little things here and there that happen... like asking if I want pizza or something, but overall I feel that they are understanding that this is something that is chronic and the best way to deal with it is to face it head on! My parents used to tell me that it was alright if I "cheated" a little, but I just made sure to tell them that even if I don't get a reaction it is still hurting my intestines! Maybe if you explain that your body needs to heal from the inside out and that even if for some reason you don't react to a food with gluten in it, it doesn't mean that it is not hurting you, they will understand? In the very beginning I thought that I would be alright if I ate something I wasn't supposed to here and there, but then I found out that if you don't stay true to the gluten-free diet that celiac disease can turn into cancer... that freaked me out and I haven't cheated since!
Addressing the whole school and food issue... I go to the University of Iowa and I live in an apartment. I was not diagnosed with celiac disease when I was a freshman so I never had to deal with the dorm food situation. But, I am sure that the school that you choose will be willing to work with you to devise a meal plan! If there is a problem, there is always the salad bar! It actually might be easier to look into getting an apartment so that you could cook your own food? (even though I understand that living in the dorms is a memorable experience!) I don't know if you have any other complications that go along with celiac disease, but I am also lactose intollerant and hypoglycemic along with being allergic to a million other foods, so it would have been pretty hard for me to live in the doorms while having celiac disease. But, hopefully you just have celiac disease! I don't know what schools you are looking at, but I would suggest finding out if a natural foods market in near by! I unfortunately have to go home to Chicago to get most of my food, but I have to go home almost every other weekend for doctor's appointments anyways, so I am used to the drive! Although, you could always order online and some grocery stores are starting to stock some essential gluten-free foods! (My favorite little snack is the Envirokidz granola bars!) Well, I have to run, but I hope that this helped you a little bit!