Last week I talked a lot about heading back to school and how tricky it can be for grade schoolers, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. I didn’t really mention the one I’m currently living in – college.
Thinking back to my college application process, there were a few factors that led to my decision to heavily consider schools in my hometown. One was my enrollment with a three year peanut allergy study taking place at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. (Read more about my experience here.) I knew that if I left the city, I would need to forfeit my participation in the study because it would be too hard to make my doctors’ appointments. The peanut study helped narrow down my choice significantly as I really only considered two major schools, the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, both located in the city.
Once my options were narrowed down and I had applied, the second allergy test played it’s part. I knew I wanted to experience living away from home in a campus dorm. Because dorms typically don’t have full kitchens, most schools require these students to purchase a meal plan at the campus dining halls. When I toured my schools, I made sure to eat at the cafes and talk to the chef. While I was fortunate that both of my selected schools were accommodating to my allergy needs, other colleges might not have the capacity to be as flexible. Allergy accommodation is a major key to success for however long you plan to live on campus or keep a meal plan! The work space, kitchen, and serving areas to be as contaminant-free as if you were cooking your meals each day at home. If your campus dining hall can’t keep you safe, then it’s probably not the right fit. For me, UC was the answer!
For all the readers out there who don’t have food allergies, isn’t it crazy how in depth the simple process of dining can get?! For me, my school had to be more than the academics. The safety was key!
If I had to go back and choose my university again, I would still choose to be a Bearcat.