I always struggled with the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was about to graduate high school and I still didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my life.
During one of my frantic internet searches and scanning sessions of possible majors and careers, I stumbled across dietetics. It stood out to me and immediately caught my interest.
I had never really thought about this being a possible career choice, but I immediately fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to help others with my career choice, and I loved food and nutrition, so it was a perfect fit.
I was accepted to Central Michigan University and began my dietetics journey, like most dietetics majors, with FNS 370 taught by Professor Most. This class just reassured me that this is what I want to do and I continued on through the dietetics courses.
Science classes are abundant in the dietetics major. There are many biology, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology classes, all required in order to have a deeper understanding of the body and how certain foods will be digested and metabolized.
These classes provided me with both challenges and triumphs, that is, after countless hours of studying. Every dietetics student knows what it’s like to spend hours in the library working on Dr. Hildebrandt’s case studies. The victorious feeling you get after finishing one is amazing and makes the entire process worth it.
Dietetics has some very fun classes such as a foods lab, where you get to actually prepare foods and learn how certain foods are made.
Nutrition is a very powerful thing, and the metabolic process is extremely complex. Drawing metabolic pathways on quizzes in Advanced Nutrition is not an easy task, but it’s very important in determining how food is metabolized in the body.
Food service classes also helped deepen my understanding of how important and complex food service is in order to assure that quality food is served to customers. The class load requires time and effort, but is enjoyable because of the love I have for science and nutrition.
Work and volunteer experiences are required in order to build a great resume for internship applications. Dietetics students spend a great deal of time working and volunteering with food and nutrition in order to gain experience.
Having a job at an on-campus cafeteria, a restaurant back home over the summer and volunteering when I could, made for a busy schedule, but it helped me learn time management skills. Organization is definitely needed in order to be a dietetics major and balance the demands placed on you.
I found out about Grand Central Magazine through a dietetics student meeting and decided to find out more about it. I started writing articles for the Food & Beverage section, applying my nutrition knowledge. Writing for Grand Central was one of my favorite college experiences – it helped me learn about writing and communicating with readers.
Food is powerful and a proper diet can greatly help the health of an individual. Diseases all have specific food recommendations that can help greatly with symptoms. Food can serve as a form of medicine, making the role of a dietitian very important.
Once I become a registered dietitian, I look forward to being able to make an impact on the lives of many people.
On Saturday, May 7, I will be saying farewell to the dietetics program at CMU. I will miss the professors and fellow students, all of whom work very hard and have made the journey enjoyable. The countless hours of studying may not be missed, but I am leaving with a surplus of knowledge about nutrition that I cannot wait to use to impact the lives of others.
Farewell CMU dietetics, thank you for helping me discover exactly what I am – a dietitian.
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