When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 2 months before leaving for college out of state, the first of many thoughts that ran through my mind was, "How am I supposed to do this on campus?" My mom and I had visited schools and tried to get information on their food services, knowing that I had at least some food issues, but hadn't dug in as much as we needed to for a Celiac diagnosis.
My school's dining contractor claimed they could get me safe gluten-free food. And they did. Well. Sort of. I would go into the kitchen and wait for 20-40 minutes (of a 50 minute break in my day) for my food. After a few weeks I started to feel groggy and out of it. I realized all I had eaten in weeks was plain grilled chicken and rice for both lunch and dinner, and the occasional pieces of ham lunch meat, with honey to dip it in (their version of 'honey-baked ham...) After a few months of this, I decided to figure out how to cook for myself using a microwave, and occasionally the communal kitchen shared by all the folks on my floor. Moving to a smaller city with no Whole Foods and no car didn't make things easier, but with shipping and Amazon, and my amazingly supportive family, we were able to make it work.
Here's a list for other 20-something celiacs, (with links to websites that sell them) of the staple items I relied on until I got a full kitchen in an apartment. Risking cross-contamination or a balanced diet just isn't worth it y'all.
This soup can be heated in the microwave and is great paired with a simple microwaved grilled cheese using gluten-free bread!
Annie's Gluten Free Mac and Cheese (microwaveable cups)
The title says it all -- Easy Mac for us problem-children
Annie's Gluten Free Shells and White Cheddar
This "gourmet" mac and cheese only comes made for stove cooking, although you can cook it in a microwave with a lot of patience (I'll be doing a blog post in the future on this). This is great for a longer break when you have time to fire up the stove in the communal kitchen.
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
This is my favorite brand, although they are only sold in bulk online currently. You can usually find them at Target and nicer grocery stores if there's one close to your campus though!
Idahoan Mashed Potatoes
This brand is great but you have to be careful which flavor you buy, some aren't GF! They have a list on their website of which items are safe.
Anything and Everything from Kinnikinnick
This is by far the best gluten free bakery I have ever had. They have everything from basic sandwich bread to bagels and doughnuts (and they're actually DELICIOUS). They're a celiac-safe kitchen so everything is safe to eat. They'll ship in bulk anywhere and everything can be frozen no worries to be had about buying a lot for one person.