contains anything to which you are allergic. Many schools have special accommodations for students with food allergies, so notify school officials ahead of your arrival. Talk to food handlers about safety standards and ask about ingredients at every meal.
Look into having a small refrigerator in your room where you can store foods that are safe for you to eat. Be aware that some dorm-style refrigerators are not designed to chill food to safe temperatures, so research products and monitor the actual temperature inside the fridge.
Anything that impairs judgment is a danger
If your judgment is impaired due to drugs, alcohol or lack of sleep, you’ll be less aware of your risk for accidental exposure to foods that may cause anaphylaxis. Tell your friends and others in your circle, such as your resident adviser, about your allergies and asthma so they can help you avoid allergic triggers. They should know what to do if you show signs of anaphylaxis.
You should also recognize there are risks associated with intimacy, and the potential for partners to transfer food allergens through saliva. Discussions surrounding drugs, alcohol and sexual activity can be difficult, but your allergist might be a place to start if you’re looking for resources on these topics.
Cleaning skills can come in very handy
Although dorm rooms are notoriously messy and a bit gross in general, knowing how to clean them means you have the power to get rid of allergens like dust and mold.
Use sheet and pillowcase covers, along with HEPA air filters, to protect your nose and eyes from allergens. If your residence hall happens to be near a major road, you may find pollutants affecting your asthma.
Air conditioning is your friend
If your dorm has air conditioning, the filtration it provides will help keep out pollen. Open windows can cause allergic issues for those suffering from seasonal allergies.
Some colleges will make accommodations by allowing or providing air conditioning for students with allergies, even if all dorm rooms are not equipped. However, air conditioners must be kept clean to help.
Heading to college is a great adventure for most young people. It’s a chance to meet interesting new people and advance your academic skills. To get the most out of your freshman year, make sure you’ve created a solid plan for dealing with potential allergens and symptoms before you leave home in the fall.