I can’t believe that 2017 is almost over. This year has given me so many wonderful opportunities and experiences and I know that I have personally grown a lot. After all, in this year, I graduated from high school, earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, and survived my first semester of college. And I successfully managed my allergies through everything I did.
The end of high school lent itself to many events that were “banquet” or reception based in celebration of the culmination of high school. Through it all, I made sure to list my allergies on the RSVP form and to meet with whoever was in charge of the food at the beginning of the event before everyone ate. And at some events, the registration forms even included a place for listing dietary restrictions. I am glad to have left a high school that is in great shape to accommodate students with allergies in a variety of circumstances.
Earning my Gold Award was the perfect culmination to my career as a Girl Scout. I am so thankful for all the opportunities to educate others about allergies that my project provided. Just last week I had the opportunity to attend a ceremony for all the girls in Eastern PA that earned their Gold Award. It was especially touching to me that there were top 8 allergen label in front of each dish at the dinner buffet! At the event, I got to teach many other girls about food allergies as well as learning about the projects of others. It was really inspiring to hear about all of the things other girls did to impact their communities.
Being home for these past two weeks has given me time to reflect on how much I’ve learned in self-management of allergies. I am pleased with how well I have been able to work with Dining Services in all of my meals. Despite the one little hiccup in service at the end of the semester, things have gone quite smoothly and I am proud of my new-found independence.
In the upcoming year, I plan to continue to grow in independence and self-confidence to speak up about my allergies through more self-advocacy and education for those around me. What events have shaped your year? How have you grown towards better allergy management? Do you have any new year’s resolutions?