Happy November! I’ve had such an overwhelming semester that it took until Thanksgiving break for me to come up with time to write for the blog. This semester, I’m living in an off-campus apartment with four of my friends, which has brought all kinds of new life experiences. After successfully living there for five months, I have learned a lot of things about self-advocacy and safety in an apartment environment.
First and foremost, I’m so thankful that I’m living with roommates who care so deeply about everyone’s safety. We have strict COVID-19 prevention policies and cleaning rituals that have only strengthened how comfortable I feel in our kitchen. With daily sanitation and cleaning in addition to weekly deep cleans, I never have to worry about allergen residue on our counters. Additionally, we have several strategies for keeping the kitchen allergy-safe. We each have our own kitchen cabinets for pantry items so that my roommates can still have jars of peanut butter and granola bars. We have a separate mini fridge for allergen-containing foods as well. Since we use the same sets of dishes, plates, and utensils, if someone eats something with an allergen, they must wash them with the “peanut sponge” before rewashing with the general sponge or sticking the dish in the dishwasher. So far this has kept everyone happy and healthy, and I’m glad we have this compromise.
Generally my roommates eat our own meals to accommodate for everyone’s individual food preferences, but before we left for Thanksgiving break, we had a big family dinner. We split up the labor in the kitchen and cooked things that were safe for me. With some communication and organization, we were able to make a fantastic feast of turkey, gravy, mashed regular and sweet potatoes, stuffing, broccoli, carrots, and crescent rolls. Then for dessert, we made cookies, apple pie, and pumpkin roll.
As the semester wraps up, I’m so thankful to be in the safe environment that I’m in, and I can’t wait for more fun roommate adventures during the rest of my senior year.