Today I’m about to get up close and personal with you. I’m going to tell you future nutrition students some things you might not want to hear. Some of the things I say may make you question yourself. But let me make myself 100% clear: despite everything I say today, I couldn’t be happier with my choice to become an RD. So yes, even when I lay out all my frustrations with this field, know that I am content with my choice because it feels 110% right.
Regardless, if you’re thinking about majoring in nutrition in college, considering becoming an RD, or if you’re already in nutrition and debating switching majors, this list might be something for you to take a peek at.
Ten Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Nutrition Student:
- Everybody else thinks you’re “just studying food so how hard can that be?”
- If you think you’ll “just be studying food” you might want to reconsider.
- Justifying that nutrition is science is a daily occurrence.
- It’s expensive. And I don’t mean just tuition expensive, I mean be prepared to dole out a lot of money between memberships to professional organizations, your internship, and random things your professors want you to have.
- Oh yeah, that internship. 1200+ hours working for free and slowly dying for 10 months? Sounds fun.
- Ooh did I mention how competitive this field is? The internship only matches about 50% of its applicants. Good luck! (<– Not sarcasm, I know a lot of you have submitted DICAS recently and I know you’re waiting on pins and needles, so really, good luck!)
- If you’re becoming an RD (which you should if you want to do anything nutrition-related) get ready to sit for a tough credentialing exam after your internship.
- All your friends will suddenly stop wanting to eat around you (possibly). Or, they will constantly be looking at your plate and dissecting what you’re eating. You’re a nutrition student and you’re having a cookie? *gasp*
- This field is so vast it’s so hard to pick what direction you want to go in (which isn’t totally bad).
- You will doubt yourself and your desire to follow this path. Stay strong because it will be worth it in the end, I promise.
I’m making nutrition sound like a pile of poo, but I promise it’s not. And maybe these don’t apply to every nutrition student out there, and maybe they won’t apply to you, but throughout my time these are some of the things I’ve encountered. Nutrition is a fascinating subject and it opens the doors to being able to help so many people. I don’t regret my choice for a second, but I do wish that I came into it more prepared than I was. Hopefully armed with this short list of sarcastic quips you feel a little bit more prepared for the journey you’re about to embark upon.
Have a wonderful week ya’ll.