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On February 5, 2009 @ 8:26 am In All Articles,At School
By Shannon Walker
My senior year of high school, I visited a lot of college dorms looking for the perfect one to help me keep my asthma under control. I started with a basic checklist: Was the dorm new or old? Were people allowed to smoke in or near the dorm? Did the dorm have air conditioning? Were the bathrooms moldy? Who cleaned the bathrooms (and how often)? How many people used each bathroom? Was the dorm room I’d be given dirty, musty or carpeted? Were the mattresses old?
This checklist helped me find the cleanest and newest dorm – as much a priority as academics when it came time to pick a college. My freshman dorm was a nonsmoking building less than five years old with no carpets in the room and no old nasty furniture. My room had its own heating and air conditioning controls; windows that I could choose whether or not to open; and the greatest of all, a bathroom that I only had to share with one roommate. The bathroom was new, clean and mold-free. Yes, I had to clean the bathroom and my dorm room to keep the dust and grime away, but my dorm was almost as trigger-free as my own bedroom at home!
I was able to complete my first year of college with no severe trouble. My roommate was very helpful in keeping the room clean and respected the fact that I couldn’t have the windows open at certain times of the year. She also respected that she couldn’t use perfume or air fresheners. I borrowed friends’ cars to get to my allergy shot appointments, stayed away from designated smoking areas and always followed my asthma management plan. The moment I felt sick, I called my doctor.
College can be such an amazing experience, but it can be ruined if you’re sick all the time or have to go home because your asthma gets out of control. Finding the right dorm helped me stay healthy and have a lot of fun my first year away from home.
Room To Breathe
First published: The MA Report, August 2006
Updated: February 2009
Article printed from Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics: http://www.aanma.org
URL to article: http://www.aanma.org/2009/02/campus-life/
URLs in this post:
 A Life of Firsts: http://www.aanma.org/2009/02/firsts/
 Does Back-to-School Make Asthma Worse?: http://www.aanma.org/2010/08/does-back-to-school-make-asthma-worse/
 USAnaphylaxis™ Map: The STATEment on Life-Threatening Allergies at School: http://www.aanma.org/2013/07/usanaphylaxis%e2%84%a2-map-the-statement-on-life-threatening-allergies-at-school/
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