College: Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

It's not that I can't believe it's here. I've been thinking about it, planning it, dreaming of it since I submitted the digital application that earned me a spot in PLNU's 2013 freshman class. Yet, I still can't help but feel shocked that I won't be sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night. My own bed at home, that is. Instead, I'll be lying in an unfamiliar bed, listening to the pairs of feet clamoring down the hallway and smelling hints of midnight cooking experiments that will become staples of my new life. Tomorrow night, I'll be in college. And how crazy is that gonna be?

Sure, I've been going through the movements. I've researched, procrastinated, bought, and labeled down each item of my college's suggested list. Yet, I caught what I'll call the zombie complex. Body's there. Brain? A little questionable

Until, that is, I crammed my last box of Think Thin Bars into my plastic (gluten free) treasure trove, squished between a pile of Lara bars and a rice cake tower. Suddenly, my brain flipped a switch and life at Point Loma wasn't just an idea. As Paul Revere might have said if war hadn't paused schooling, "College is coming! College is coming!" And later: College is here! 

One of my food stashes...
Maybe it's because everything else I've bought - cleaning supplies, utensils, school gear - aren't too personalized a buy. I've hopped the country multiple times, so upgrading house goods isn't a new trend. Stocking up on gluten free munchies isn't unusual either, but even by our levels of preparedness this is excessive. The cashier probably thinks my mom and I are healthy hobos who live off of Lara bars by the way we cleaned out the snack aisle

More to point, though, this food is personal. More personal than any bottle of Detergent. Food was always part of my life, but after my celiacs diagnosis, eating gluten free is a distinct aspect of my identity. I spent all of last night worrying about how I'd stay healthy in an atmosphere immersed in gluten. Will my cafeteria arrangement work out? Will I survive being glutened? Will my roommate and I get along? 

As I looked at my food heaven in a crate this morning, though, my inner soapbox star started to quiet. I'm bringing food, I know of grocery stores that carry gluten free nearby, and I already know tons of tips to help me survive. 

I shall survive!

The underlying fact that's keeping my sane? Nothing can be as hard as going gluten free, not even starting college as a celiac. Eating a GF diet was a total transformation of my identity; at least in the beginning, college, like my box of goodies, is just an exciting, adventurous relocation.

Watch out - the next time you'll hear from me, I'll be an official college celiac.

Did you eat gluten free in college? We're you nervous before school? Comment below!


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