So its the third day of your much-anticipated, first week of your undergraduate life and now is the time to be care-free, make friends and influence people. It's a rain-sodden evening in Manchester (no surprises there), circa 2003, and I am desperately trying to make good memories, and avoid the bottom level of the Fresher hierarchy.
I'm in the process of getting to know my flat mates, the day after the night before. We're all unanimous in our decision of a mucky takeaway to soak up the latter stages of a significant hangover, but the overwhelming opinion is: PIZZA. Great. I was already pretty sure that in the early 2000s, this was the worst possible option for any coeliac hoping for a tasty takeaway. Immediately, I ponder over how I can make my recently-diagnosed medical condition seem almost cool. My new acquaintances are still weighing me up on the social scale, and gluten free is not massively 'in' right now. Most people haven't heard of it, never mind understand why I'm sat pretending to enjoy my side salad box with no dressing.
Thankfully, I am so pleased to see that things have changed considerably since this era, and we have amazing choices not only in the way of takeaways, but in bloomin good pizza. I am tucking into my leftover MOD as I write. A company that has successfully challenged the standard wheat-containing bases out there with their gluten free version, according to my 'normal' gluten-eating friends. So, it's looking brighter for students these days, although we still have a long way to go with regard to one of the biggest challenges for their diets: value for money. Hopefully one day, we will be able to safely say a loaf of gluten freebread costs as much as a loaf of bread.
Let me know your stand out moments with coeliac disease, I would love to hear your stories.
Thanks for reading