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Poll

How will/did/have you handle(d) LTFA at college?  Please choose as many as apply.

I will mostly eat my own food-- no meal plan for me... I just don't think it can be truly safe.
Meal plan and dorm, yes-- I have faith that campus dining can work.  I'll just need to be careful.
Dorm, yes-- but I'll need to have a way to prepare my own food. (microwave, fridge, crockpot, etc)
There's no way that I could live on-campus because I have to cook. (sensitivity-related)
There's no way that I could live on-campus because I have to cook. (allergen-specific)
My food allergies just aren't that big a deal-- I know what I can eat and what I can't.  <shrug>
It varies-- some campuses get it and others don't.
I really haven't thought about it.
I plan to live on slurpees.
My parents will bring me food.
I'm going to live at home.  (FA is part of the reason)
I'm not going to attend college. (FA is part of the reason)
How well campus dining can accommodate my allergies is a big part of my selection process-- it's variable.

Author Topic: How will/did you handle FA at college?  (Read 2536 times)

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Offline CMdeux

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How will/did you handle FA at college?
« on: July 01, 2013, 10:13:53 AM »
So tell me what you think-- if you plan to live ON-- or OFF-- campus, I mean.

If you have specific information to share about why one plan looks to be workable for you, it'd be wonderful if you could share it after voting. 

Thanks!!
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline rebekahc

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 11:05:55 AM »
I answered for both myself (many moons ago) and DS.  When I was in college there was little in the way of allergy awareness/education so I was pretty much on my own.  I lived in the dorm and ate in the dining halls without problem - I just avoided things that had been problematic in the past.  I never went through the wok line, avoided the deserts and kept far away from the area with tubs of butter, jelly, PB - luckily, there was also butter at the baked potato bar, etc.  For me, pn/tn was my most sensitive allergy and I had grown up in the minefield so to speak, so avoidance was instinctual.

For DS, I think things could be more difficult because 1) he's lived in a mostly allergen free home with greater allergy awareness from both family and society - he hasn't had to sink or swim like those of my generation did, 2) pn/tn foods are more prevalent now than when I was in college, and 3) while DS's pn/tn sensitivity is slightly better than mine, he's more reactive to some of his other food allergens than I was.  For those reasons, I think he may have to resort to in-room cooking for at least some of his meals.
TX - USA
DS - peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, corn, soy, several meds, many environmentals. Finally back on Xolair!
DD - mystery anaphylaxis, shellfish.
DH - banana/avocado, aspirin.  Asthma.
Me - peanut, tree nut, shellfish, banana/avocado/latex,  some meds.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 11:36:46 AM »
DD's allergen set and sensitivity will make it nearly impossible to trust campus dining day in and day out-- even a major event which is catered requires a LOT of planning even now, and she has learned to never be in a position where she can't feed herself from safe food stashes. 

Fully sealed safe brands are one thing-- providing that they can be wiped down and that silverware isn't contaminated, etc.

It's not really feasible for DD to live in a dorm setting, unfortunately.  Her age (only barely 15 when she'll matriculate) will also be a complicating factor for her.  We are planning to have a parent live with her off-campus.  That may require a 504 plan in some places given the trend toward freshman dorm residency requirements, but the reality is that it is that or a 'single' in grad/family housing with an UNSHARED kitchen/bath.  It's both a huge problem... and also a relief in some ways to have a MEDICAL reason that colleges will embrace as to why my 15yo won't be living in a dorm room surrounded by 18-23yo's.    Kinda thinking that they'll see it as mostly a relief, too.  ;)

Me-- oh, my FA's were more annoying than anything else during college, and I never lived on campus anyway.  At that point in time, however, it would have been completely feasible from an FA standpoint.  I still think that it probably would be, given that I'm SFA only, with a citrus allergy that isn't life-threatening so far as I can tell.



Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline Macabre

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 09:31:25 AM »
I answered for DS, since he doesn't come here.

I assume this will be doable without a lot of work. He is PA only and is doing SLIT for it, so hopefully it will be even less an issue. But even as things aRe now, it's not really campus dining that I worry about a whole lot. We go out to eat. DS has navigated his way through several food service options at the University of Chicago recently.

Just given when the bell curve of the kids born with LTFA started to slant upward starts with the year DS was born, I'm sure we'll be trailblazers to some extent, just as we always have been. 

I worry about other food opportunities more than campus dining.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline Macabre

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 09:34:33 AM »
CM, perhaps there are campuses where at least the last two or three years she can live on her own. Especially the last two. I had cohorts who were 17. They weren't quite as mature in many ways but did just fine socially.

I think it is critical for kids to live on campus for at least part of their college experience--if at all possible. 
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 10:34:47 AM »
I answered for DS.

He dorms, and uses the meal plan.  In truth, there is not a ton of variety for him; but he knew when he chose this school that there were better options FA-wise that he could have attended.  It's not that important to him.  He just checks in with the chef at whatever dining hall he chooses that day and they let him know what is safe.  IF he really wanted, they would prepare food for him upon request, but he'd rather just eat with his buddies than wait for something made special.

He also cooks convenience-type foods (ramen, soup, etc.) in his room.  They have micro-fridges.

BTW, no George Foreman's, etc at his school.

FWIW, I had just turned 17 when I started college.  Big difference from 15, but still younger than anyone else I knew.  It was fine.  Hopefully by her junior year she'll be able to navigate living on campus.
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 12:08:30 PM »
I'm dying to hear from our Slurpee voter....  ;D

I have to say that I think whether-or-not to live ON campus varies dramatically with the culture of the campus itself.  With some colleges, it's a MUST if you're to fit into the culture of the school.  In others, (generally more broadly 'diverse' settings in terms of demographics) many students are commuters and it doesn't set anyone apart to either live on-- or off-- campus.

In some schools, living on campus is not really part and parcel of the experience.  I say that as someone who didn't-- but my DH did live on campus, and later off-campus with a traditional roommate set-up, and he agrees with me that it's institution-specific, that particular factor.

I was another quite young college student, entering as a student with a number of dual enrollment credits already, at almost exactly 3y my DD's senior...  and it was kind of weird to be the last of my friends to: a) drive, b) turn 21, and c) be able to vote.    I do recall some of those things being occasionally awkward.  I also have known a small handful of other VERY young collegians through my own experiences in higher ed over the years.  They do fine, and really, as long as they are >13 or so, few people know just how young they are unless they say...

but colleges are NOT happy to have kids <17-18 living in dorms.  At all.

There are also lab liability issues related to kids who are VERY young handling biological or radiological hazardous materials-- because you have to "certify" for some of those classes, and you can't if you aren't at least 18.

One thing that we seem to have dodged by virtue of her being 15 when she actually enters as a regular admitted student is that hopefully a parent won't be on the hook to attend class with her.  (Yes, really-- this is an occasional caveat for very young students, and I've had to do it before with community college classes with DD when she was 11-12.)  Fifteen seems to be about when it no longer is a major issue.



Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline Macabre

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 02:09:26 PM »
Oh goodness at 14 I don't think I would have had to do that with DS. He looks older because of his height than many of his peers. And directors have said for years that he acts older.

I worked for a university that was largely a commuter campus. At least traditionally so.  They were working very hard to reverse that trend, building more (very cool) dorms and creating common spaces and green spaces throughout campus. So yeah, I agree with you that it is institution-specific.

But the university found it wasn't as healthy as having at least a greater number of students live on and around campus. They showed several studies that had to do with student experience, the level of conversation And dialogue outside the classroom, relationships with faculty, and the relationship to the university afterward--which is where I came in as a fund raiser. I connected with people in my position in similar universities across the country, and they were all fighting the same struggle: the come and go experience= lower alumni loyalty and lower annual giving, lower major giving, lower planned giving. The alums just didn't feel it. They didn't look back on their years at the school with nostalgia.

Creating spaces for off campus students to engage in conversation and creating places for more students to live on campus was, by the studies' conclusions, supposed to help everyone's experience. And ultimately fundraising efforts.


Which is not to say that going to a commuter college is a bad thing, but in choosing one pay attention to opportunities for traditional student experiences outside the classroom. And find out what the college does to foster community for all it's students.

And then when possible, if possible I think it's good for our kids to live on their own.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

twinturbo

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 02:19:48 PM »
Mac, I love that insight re: the commuter experience affecting the whole. Pitch perfect.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 03:04:38 PM »
I agree completely-- a LARGE commuter campus is very different than a small one, and having an active and mindful campus that operates to foster outside-of-classroom interactions is really the key.  Personally, my feeling is that this is largely a matter of pedagogical culture on a campus, and not necessarily of residential/commuter status in a student population-- faculty who encourage students to use one another as supplemental course resources foster it, and those who are very rigid and rubric-driven tend to discourage the development of cooperative learning communities.  <shrug>

Colleges moved away from having large shared spaces in student unions, etc. during the 80's and 90's, in favor of moving those kinds of things into facilities for campus residents (and frankly, into eliminating them entirely in a lot of cases, in favor of other kinds of facilities), and later found that this was a serious error in terms of alumni loyalty, for exactly the reason that Mac notes.  The solution, though, of having a REQUIREMENT that everyone live on campus, is (IMO) a bit wrong-headed, and it ultimately demonstrates on some level a lack of respect for genuine diversity.  Where are single parents and returning students supposed to attend college, then?

On the other hand, having spaces which are inviting and welcoming in which to "hang out" in between classes is very helpful in that regard.  Lounge areas and seating near snack bars and coffee shops, open study rooms in departments-- spaces all over campus where it is okay to occupy a spot for hours on end, spaces where a small discussion group can meet informally and TALK (not needing to worry about being quiet).  Students won't go back to apartments and dorm rooms when those inviting spaces are close at hand within a campus core.

  Newer construction in even large campuses is aimed at paying MUCH more attention to that kind of thing now. 

Our plan to address the "life on your own" thing is a bit different than average, I know-- but the plan is that until DD is probably 16-17, it's just not on the table for more than overnight.   After that, weekends, then long weekends, etc.  But there is a plan.  Because we believe that it is very important, as well.  :)    DH jokes that we're sending DD to college using the "Eppes Model."



One final note, though-- if universities are serious about student experiences (and not just alumni $), then they'd be paying a LOT more heed to the perils of slashing regular faculty ranks in favor of a 'mostly-adjunct-teaching' model as a cost-saving measure.  They aren't-- this trend has accelerated, in fact.  This is like having a temp agency supply your hospital with physicians and hoping that this will improve patient outcomes while you save money.

I pay a LOT of attention to what percentage of faculty on a campus are fixed term, adjunct, or tenured/tenure-track, and to who is actually standing in lower-division classrooms day to day.  If it's grad students and adjuncts, that isn't an institution that cares much about its undergraduate educational mission to start with.  They might dress that up a variety of ways, but that's the bottom line for me personally, coming at this from an insider stance.  I wish that there were a way to sort institutions that way-- but it is surprisingly difficult to ferret out that kind of information.  It's why my shorthand way of getting to it is to look for places that are primarily undergraduate, and then look at how many tenured/tenure-track faculty there are relative to the number of undergrads.  Anything higher than a 18-25:1 ratio is probably "too high."  Poke into particular department webpages at random and look at faculty-- see who teaches what and look for people who ONLY teach three or four lab sections... or have next to NO office hours...or no office... they are likely to be adjunct (low-paid, temp workers, basically).  Be wary of a place that doesn't list anyone for those teaching assignments... that, too, often indicates "we'll hire someone at the last minute."

 I also ask for a lot of detail in terms of pedagogical philosophy-- Socratic is good, and other stuff can be less so.


I realize that's more of a general college scouting tip, and a bit OT for this thread.   But it's pretty important.



« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 03:47:08 PM by CMdeux »
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline Macabre

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Re: How will/did you handle FA at college?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 03:40:30 PM »
Yes, it would not make sense to me either to have an arrangement other than what you described until she might attend on her own if she were in a typical situation. For so many reasons--even with kids who exercise very good judgement and are mature and very responsible.

I'm so impressed that you've thought this far ahead. Not surprised, but impressed. :)
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts