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Lilymylove

I Want To Go To College...what Should I Do?

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I just found out I have Celiacs. and I also finally found a college I would love to go to... What should I do ? Being gluten free is obviously very difficult but it is absolutely necessary. Can i do this at college? The college is a small liberal arts school and I hear Celiac Disease is under the disability act? What should I do about food in college??

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Hi Lilly. Where there's a will, there's a way. Celiac Disease is something you can *live* with. It's frightening at first, but the more you know, the easier it is to deal with. There are so many things that you CAN eat.....focus on that instead of what you can't. It's not always convenient, but I've found I'm much better off without pre-packaged, pre-prepared, or fast foods.

Will you be staying on-campus?, or a room near by? If you can live with kitchen facilities....especially one that you can control, would make life much easier for you at college. I know that you'll be getting some excellent advise here, and a lot of support. Good luck! :)

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Generally speaking you're probably better off at a smaller college. The college I attended (pre-celiac days) has about 1,500 students and they are now very aware of diet restrictions, including celiac. The huge places that serve thousands per meal have a very hard time keeping track of what's happening, although I know there are ones that try very hard.

It's your choice as to whether to apply and then talk to them if you're accepted or talk to them first. However, you HAVE to talk to them one way or another. I wouldn't bring up the ADA first thing. I'm no legal expert, but I'm pretty sure the ADA doesn't mean they have to guarantee gluten-free meals. They could instead just let you out of the required meal contract and deal with meals on your own.

richard

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I just found out I have Celiacs. and I also finally found a college I would love to go to... What should I do ? Being gluten free is obviously very difficult but it is absolutely necessary. Can i do this at college? The college is a small liberal arts school and I hear Celiac Disease is under the disability act? What should I do about food in college??

Yes, you can absolutely do it in college! If you found a college you really want to go to and think you'll really enjoy, by all means do not let this stupid gluten thing hold you back! I don't know what kind of housing accomodations your school has, but if you could find someplace to live where you have a kitchen to cook in -- like a small apartment by yourself or if the dorms are apartment style. That way at least you can cook meals for yourself and make sure you get enough to eat each day. It will be harder being in college because friends will want to go out to eat and you will not always be able to eat with them, but I think you'll find that if you plan ahead and always remember to take gluten free snacks with you everywhere you go, it's definitely something you can manage! I would maybe try calling the manager for the cafeteria of the school, let them know you are considering going to that school and tell them about your dietary restrictions. Then see if they have any ways of helping you out with that. You may find that they have several other people on campus with similar situations and are able to accomodate them.

One idea for food that is really easy -- there are rice noodle bowls made by Thai Kitchen. The ones that are gluten free say gluten free on the front of the package. They are SUPER easy to make and to take with you wherever you go. All you have to do is add hot water, pour in the seasoning packets, let it sit for 5 min so the noodles soften, and its ready to eat. I take these with me on car trips and when I know we'll be going places they won't have food for me.

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The college only has about 400 kids attending. St. John's College. I have talked to admissions people there already and they were super nice. The college is a tightly knit community. The campus is in Annapolis Maryland though and I don't know if the college would be able to accommodate me as far as a dorm with a kitchen.

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hello!

i thought i would share my advice as someone who is currently in college and dealing with celiac. i actually go to college in towson, md...im not quite sure how far that it from annapolis. anyway, i was diagnosed at the beginning of this semster, so ive been working on how to deal with it. I dont have a kitchen in my room, but I do have a stove and oven in the dorm common room (most colleges have this). I brought my own pots and pans from home and i have a supply of different gluten free foods that i can cook for myself. I highly recommend doing something like this, because as helpful as the dining service can be, there is always a chance of cross contamination or someone not knowing exactly what is in the food. Ive already been glutened a few times just because a cook didnt really know what was in the food. im not going to lie, its hard to do, but its not impossible. im on the lowest possible meal plan my school offers so that i can cook some of my own meals and not waste money. My friends are good about going out to eat and they try to pick restaurants they know i can go to. i would just recommend talking to your dining service about celiac to make sure they know you have it and you have very specific dietary restrictions. and like i said before try to bring pots and pans so you have the option of cooking yourself.

good luck with college!

emily

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You can absolutely do it in college, I just graduated after getting diagnosed 2 and a half years ago. The thing I can't stress enough is to be open and honest to everyone. Talk to the cafeteria staff as soon as you know you will be attending so they can help you plan out meals. They will be able to accomidate you, they have to! Be honest to new friends, the sooner they know, the more normal it will become to them - before you know it they'll be picking you up everything gluten-free they see haha. (my friend once got me gluten-free parmasean cheese from the grocery store she saw...so random but so thoughtful haha).

I would suggest asking for a dorm that has a kitchen, maybe you could get an apartment on campus? If not don't worry...you'll have a microwave in your room im sure, and you can stock up on lots of frozen dinners like Amy's. I didn't live in a dorm when I was diagnosed but if I did my parents said they would have bought me my own fridge/freezer and a microwave which is the best idea.

I'm not sure if you will be drinking/going out to dinner at all but those are probably going to be the most annoying things. Suggest restuarants you know will have something you can eat...if not, a lot of restuarants will have things like rice, mashed potatos, baked potatos and meat - just ask for things unseasoned and plain. You'll be fine, I promise :)

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I am in graduate school now, at Brandeis University in MA. The store where you can buy food there actually stocks gluten free frozen food (amy's and others) as well as other items that are clearly labeled gluten free. I also heard that the school has accommodated kids w/celiac before in terms of taking them to buy special food when there was nothing in the dining halls, etc. I would think a smaller school would DEFINITELY work with you.

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I have had Celiac my entire college career and have always found a way to make it work. I have a team of personal chefs on campus that deal only with kids with food allergies and I eat better at school than I do at home. I lived in a dorm both my freshman and sophomore years without a personal kitchen and made it work. We had a dorm kitchen that was disgusting, but it did cook food. I live in an apartment now and I still eat lunch on campus every day because I love the food. I am registered in the Office of Disabilities for my Celiac and for a neurological disorder that I have and it was an easy process. The people in ODS are really there to help you. I live in the boonies (Harrisonburg, VA) and I have found natural food stores and a local grocery store that carries gluten free food. I'm sure in Annapolis they can accomodate you. Have fun, Annapolis is wonderful, will always be a USNA girl at heart!

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I have had Celiac my entire college career and have always found a way to make it work. I have a team of personal chefs on campus that deal only with kids with food allergies and I eat better at school than I do at home. I lived in a dorm both my freshman and sophomore years without a personal kitchen and made it work. We had a dorm kitchen that was disgusting, but it did cook food. I live in an apartment now and I still eat lunch on campus every day because I love the food. I am registered in the Office of Disabilities for my Celiac and for a neurological disorder that I have and it was an easy process. The people in ODS are really there to help you. I live in the boonies (Harrisonburg, VA) and I have found natural food stores and a local grocery store that carries gluten free food. I'm sure in Annapolis they can accomodate you. Have fun, Annapolis is wonderful, will always be a USNA girl at heart!

Talk to the person in control of the dining on campus. They have become more knowledgable and cooperative. Most colleges also have nutritionists available. Maybe not a smaller ones thu. I was looking into a school in Oregon and on their site it listed gluten as one of the top allergies and who to contact about your allergies. I would check out the school's website and if that isnt helpful talk to the counselor and they can point you in the right direction

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