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Starting University

October 13, 2011

Hello everyone! My name is Nick. I have allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. I just started university and I was able to successfully have a fun and safe frosh week. 

For me, going to university was a pretty big step. Going to university meant that I was pretty far away from home. I was very nervous the week before frosh week. Lots of questions went through my mind (“Will I have fun?”, “Will I fit in?”, “Will I find friends?” and of course “Will I have problems with my allergies?”). Previously I had an allergy test before I left home and it confirmed that I was still severely allergic to peanuts and all nuts, which only worsened my fear.

Once frosh week started, I was able to calm down and have fun. Right off the bat I met some great friends. As for my allergies, I was very cautious. I ALWAYS wore my epinephrine to events and I doubled checked what was being served making sure it was nut free. If there was any chance of the food having nuts or peanuts, I avoided it and I ate elsewhere after the event. I would let my friends know about my allergy to make sure they know what to do if an allergic reaction occurred. In the end, I was able to have a safe and fun frosh week.

University was completely different then I expected. The classes are much shorter then high school and each day is a different schedule (e.g. I would have 5 classes one day and 1 class another). Being in university you have to be independent, there is no one looking after you. It’s the same with your allergies as well. You should always have epinephrine with you at all times and  have extra safe food handy. But if you’re like me and enjoy dining out, just make sure you ask the right questions, especially about cross contamination, and never take a chance with a food you are unsure of.

Overall this has been a successful and safe transition for me. In this time period I have learned how to become independent while managing my allergies in university while having a great time!

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