Dietetics is not an easy major. Along with maintaining a high-grade point average, gaining work experience and being involved in volunteer opportunities, we as students have to learn time management and organizational skills just to stay afloat. I am sure that we can all relate to the academic stress and the stress of preparing for our futures, but I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
This year, I am a senior Nutrition and Dietetic student at the University of Arkansas from Nashville, Arkansas. When I am not studying, I am spending my spare time working as a Principles of Foods Lab Teaching Assistant, president of the Student Dietetic Association, Student Liaison of the Northwest Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Student Liaison of the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am still wondering how I am successfully surviving college, but I am pretty sure coffee is the answer.
Throughout my college career, I have been asked why I decided to major in dietetics. I grew up in 4-H where my main project was Foods and Nutrition since I was five years old. I was involved in many community projects that related to my main project like helping build the bathroom facility at our Farmer’s Market. I did not figure out that I wanted to major in dietetics until I presented an illustrated talk about eggs. I enjoyed learning about the different nutrients found in eggs and I thought it was neat how research changes over time. When I figured out there was a career where I could help people and work with food, I knew I was in the right spot.
I, like most dietetic seniors, am preparing for my dietetic internship. To be honest, I am making a Pros and Cons lists for each school that I am interested in pursuing a dietetic internship with. I am studying to take the GRE and trying to organize my resume. I am also taking Advanced Nutrition and Medical Nutrition Therapy, and those are my favorite classes this semester. While they will be difficult, I am up for the challenge.
I mentioned that I am the Student Liaison for the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I am really excited for this opportunity. A board member, Jessica Bradley, visited our Community Nutrition class to share with us the importance of public policy in the dietetic field. Throughout college, dietetic students are learning about working in a clinical setting. But behind most nutrition policies, there is a politician, and somebody has to convince them of what will be best for our field. I knew I wanted to get involved with dietetics on the state level, and ArAND is great opportunity for that. While I will not be charging Capitol Hill, I will be working with my fellow dietetic students in Arkansas. We are the future of our profession. I encourage you, if you have not already, to become a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You get access to journal articles and a nutrition magazine. You also get weekly newsletters about recent nutrition information. We are a bunch of food nerds and we should be jumping all over this. These resources, in turn, will help prepare you to become the dietitian you want to be.