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The Big Announcement!

Hello friends!

I’m back for my big announcement — where I’ll be moving in the fall and attending graduate school!

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As you all know, after years of dithering around in the cubicle world, I’ve decided I want to become a Registered Dietician (RD). It took some time to make the decision because of all the scary prerequisites I was facing — I was a Sociology major and didn’t take almost any science classes in undergrad — but I finally decided it was time to stop wasting my time and just GO FOR IT. There was no point in continuing to pursue careers I wasn’t interested in just because I was scared to commit to making a change. 

I quit my desk job, took a brief detour and taught English in Prague from October 2008 until June 2009…

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…and then when I returned to the U.S. last summer I got down to business taking prerequisites and applying to schools! Over the summer in Florida (where my parents live), I studied for and took the GRE and knocked out Chemistry 1 and 2 at the University of Tampa.

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I moved back to D.C. in August, started working part time as an editor, started my blog (yay!), and continued taking classes at a local community college.

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In the fall I took Organic Chemistry and Biology 101, and this semester I’ve been taking Anatomy & Physiology and Human Nutrition.

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I also started an online BioChemistry course about a month ago which will run through early August (I need to catch up on this once finals are over!), and will be taking my final prerequisite, Microbiology, at the community college this summer. Whew!

I was surprised to find when I started taking classes again that I actually like Chemistry! I get a lot of emails from readers wanting advice regarding going back to school to become an RD (and starting from scratch like I did with courses), and my advice is to just go for it. Science is really not that scary! I think because I know these courses are going to be relevant for my career, they are much more interesting and I’ve actually been doing really well in them as a result! Plus, it’s cool to find out how the body works :) And, honestly, if you do start taking classes and realize it’s not for you — it’s not the end of the world! At least you’ll KNOW and won’t regret not giving it a shot.

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Anyway, as you’ll recall, I made a couple trips this fall and winter to visit schools!

In October, I visited UNC-Chapel Hill, which offers an MPH-Nutrition (the RD coursework AND internship combined, plus some additional public health courses) and a gorgeous campus:

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And in January, I visited Bastyr University in Washington state near Seattle, which offers an MS in Dietetics (just the RD coursework, not the internship) and provides a whole foods, holistic approach to nutrition, which I really love. The highlight of the Bastyr trip was their awesome vegetarian cafe and The Vending Machine from Heaven, featuring Larabars, almond butter squeeze packets, etc. — a health foodies dream!041

I also applied to Colorado State, which offers an MS in Dietetics (the RD coursework AND internship combined) and would fulfill my pipe dream of living in Colorado :)

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I’ve had a lot to think about the past few months. Making decisions like this is always scary and hard because you know that whatever you decide will change your life forever, but at a certain point you just have to pick something and run with it. After a lot of thought and consideration, I have accepted an offer and will be moving to…

UNC-Chapel Hill!

That’s right, friends — I’m officially becoming a Tar Heel!

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While I still have a huge west coast pipe dream, going to UNC is just what makes sense for me right now and I’m very excited and proud to say I’ll be starting school there in the fall!

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Why UNC?

  • It’s an amazing school and is ranked as the second MPH program in the country, after Harvard!
  • I can get in-state tuition (!!) through the Academic Common Market as there’s no equivalent Virginia program available.
  • It includes the RD coursework AND the internship, so I won’t have to apply to internship programs again later (a lot of programs just include the coursework).
  • It’s an MPH program instead of an MS, which will be useful should I decide to go into any sort of international-related health work.
  • It’s close enough that I can drive back to D.C. every once in awhile to see friends and family.
  • Chapel Hill is really cute and the campus is beautiful!
  • It’ll be fun to go to a school that has nationally recognized sports teams (I’m sorry, Dickinson, I still love you!)

So there you have it! I’ll be moving down there in late August and the program is 2.5 years. I’m excited and nervous. Here’s hoping I like Chapel Hill! :) If any of you live there or have lived there, any advice on housing, etc. would be much appreciated!

Speaking of school, it’s time to get back to studying! Have a great day :)

Comments

  1. 1

    Congratulations — you’ll love the area; it’s amazingly rich and beautiful. My best friend moved to Greensboro last year (working at High Point University), and he loves it.

  2. 2

    a) Congrats! I’m so excited for you!
    b) One day I think we should make a deal and live in the same area at the same time seeing as how I’m moving back to DC in August.

  3. 4

    CONGRATS ANNE!!!!! Even though I go to the rival school (well, not for long!) I still think UNC CH is absolutely gorgeous and amazing. My dietician actually went there back in the day!

    You will love this foodie area and hello? there’s a TJ’s and WF’s a couple miles from campus.

  4. 5

    Congrats Anne! Can’t wait to hear how you like your RD studies. You’re going to love this field! And doing the combo classes/internship is a super smart idea. Good luck!

  5. 6

    CONGRATS! What an amazing opportunity, and brave leap that I’m sure will be a wonderful experience! Even though us D.C./Baltimore peeps will miss you LOTS, I can’t wait to keep up with you via the blog. :) We MUST have a meetup before you leave!!!

  6. 8

    Woohoo!!! Congrats chica! I’m very excited for you and I know you’re gonna kickass! ;)

  7. 9

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I was really pulling for the Colorado move because that’s where I am from but UNC was my dream school all through high school so I am very jealous and happy for you!

    GO TAR HEELS!

  8. 10

    This is so great. I don’t know Chapel Hill, but I do know that NC in general is pretty awesome (I’m in school in Gboro).
    Congrats on making your decision.

  9. 11

    Congrats, girl! That is so exciting. :)

  10. 12

    Congrats! That is SO awesome! I did my undergrad at Elon (which is 30 min away) and absolutely LOVE the area. You will have so much fun.

  11. 13

    congratulations! very excitiiiiing. i’ll be in the greater charlotte area, which is a good 2 hours away but still within blogger meetup distance i’d say. :)

  12. 15

    I had this underlying feeling that you were going to choose UNC! Congratulations girlie!!!

    Chapel Hill is a beautiful area and I know you’re going to have a blast, but please do make sure you come back to visit. I’ll miss you!

  13. 16

    Yayyy congrats! I’m glad you didn’t pick Colorado State…I went there for 1 year in college and didn’t like Fort Collins, it’s not the best place in Colorado to live…:( Boulder and Denver are much better!

    Can I say I’m a bit jealous?

  14. 18

    I. LOVE. CHAPEL. HILL. That’s where we lived in the 2 years before we moved here! I think you will love it! I would strongly suggest living in Carrboro, the tiny town right over from CH. You can easily walk, bike or bus to campus, and Carrboro is where the farmer’s market and lots of great restaurants are located. I’m jealous! I miss Chapel Hill A LOT. Especially the Aveda Institute ($40 facials…holla!), Weaver Street Market (a funky co op in Carrboro) and tons of great restaurants. Yay!

  15. 19

    Oh, and two of my friends got their MPH at UNC and lived fairly close to the School of Public Health. If you live in Chapel Hill proper, that part of town is pretty nice and obviously convenient for you!

    I want to move back to Chapel Hill now. Great.

  16. 20

    That’s so great!!! Its such a beautiful place! I love it there, I want my little sister to there (and Duke) and apply so I can visit when ever i want!

    SO excited to read about your future journeys. And I love that you are following your dreams. I am taking classes at Community college this summer to follow my dreams too!

  17. 21

    Congratulations!!! So excited for you :)

  18. 22
    adriane says:

    WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!!!

    Learn this immediately:

    I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred.
    And when I die, I’m a Tar Heel dead.
    So it’s rah-rah, Car’lina-’lina!
    Rah-rah, Car’lina-’lina!
    Rah-rah, Car’lina-’lina!
    GO TO HELL DUKE!

    I just moved back from CH in December and would be happy to help you with housing questions or anything else. You do need to find housing really soon–it isnt like DC since it is such a college town–so leases are signed pretty early. I have a lot of friends moving out, so I can ask around, too.

    Go Heels!

  19. 24

    Ahhh I’m at Duke and would LOVE to do lunch when you move here in the fall!

  20. 26

    Congratulations!!! A lot of this rings true for me, too…

  21. 27

    Congrats! I kinda had a hunch you were going to pick UNC for some reason. Also, this post was such a tease. I kept scrolling and scrolling to see where you’d picked and then went back and read the rest of it :)

  22. 29

    I haven’t been reading for all that long so I missed the whole journey but loved your recap!! Physiology was the coolest course I’ve ever taken! I was excited to see Colorado State as a runner up- that’s where I’m getting my master’s! Congratulations on your decision- gorgeous campus and all great reasons!! GOOD LUCK!

  23. 30

    Congratulations Anne! That’s very exciting. I hear great things about NC :) Diva reunion there next year??

  24. 32

    CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  25. 33

    That is awesome news! Although I currently attend N.C. State down the road in Raleigh, my sister and boyfriend go to Chapel Hill so I spend a lot of time there! You will absolutely LOVE it! My biggest recommendation for a sweet treat is The Yogurt Pump. It is the BEST frozen yogurt place on Franklin Street! It is a must every time I go to CH, which is a lot! Best of luck!

  26. 34

    That’s awesome! Congrats!

  27. 35
    katie k says:

    Congrats! I just moved from Chapel Hill! I can’t wait to go back after the boyfriend is done with his phd up north!! I’m sad that you are moving now and I will have to read posts about all the places I miss so much. There are a couple of blogs that I read of girls who live in Durham, the next town over. They might be really helpful for you! Let me know if you don’t know them and I will pass them along :)

  28. 37

    Oh Congratulations . . . it sounds wonderful and scary all at the same time :)

  29. 38

    Congrats!!!!! I’ll send you my friends email so you two can chirp about UNC if you have any questions ;)

    Then you can move to CO and join me! haha, just sayin’.

  30. 39

    this is such huge news…and SO exciting! i can’t wait to read about your adventures in school now :)

  31. 40

    Great choice! I’m sure you’ll love it. One of my best friends is actually starting the MPH program at UNC next year too. So popular right now!

  32. 41

    Congrats, that’s so exciting! And what a relief for you to be in a program that includes the internship. I am starting a program this summer but I can’t apply for the program that includes the internship until I’ve taken a few more prereqs. I am so nervous about possibly having to go through the internship lottery system!

  33. 43

    congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

  34. 44

    Congrats! My sister is getting her MHA at UNC in the Gillings School of Public Health. Is that what school you’ll be in? She just finished her first year. We just went to visit a few weeks ago. It is so pretty and quaint. Great college town. Congrats!

  35. 47

    That is so exciting!!!! Congratulations!

  36. 48

    Congratulations! I’m also taking the big step and moving away from DC for grad school in the Fall. It’s a little scary but exciting too. Good luck with your studies! I hear that is a fantastic school

  37. 49

    Congrats! So happy for you!

  38. 50

    Big congrats!!!!! This is amazing :-) You will do so well in school and have so many things to look forward to. NC is beautiful and I’m sure you’ll do well. :-)

  39. 51

    This is really exciting! Congrats! Even though I did go to NC State for only a year… we’re rivals! :)

  40. 52

    congrats!!! that is so exciting!!!:)

  41. 53

    OMGOMGOMG! I am so excited for you! CHAPEL HILL IS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH! I used to live in Burlington (about 30 minutes from there) and my favorite weekends were the ones spent in Chapel Hill! (eat at Top of the Hill – it’s TDF)

    I’m so exited for you (and honestly – super jealous!) You are just going to have the best years of your life there – I know it! :)

  42. 54

    OH yeah! And! (To go along with Adriene’s comment) Learn this:

    Duke is puke.
    Wake is fake.
    The team I hate is NC State.
    Can’t get to heaven in a Red Canoe…
    cuz God’s favorite color is CAROLINA BLUE! :)

  43. 56

    Such exciting news! Congrats!! I can’t wait t o read about your new adventures at UNC. =P

  44. 57

    Congrats! I went to UNC CH for my master’s in public administration 4 years ago – it is a GREAT school and the alumni networks are really strong. I actually moved here from DC originally and it’s a pretty easy 4ish hour drive to visit friends, so not bad at all. The in state tuition part is AWESOME by the way….for housing I actually hooked up with some of the other MPA students and we rented a 3 bedroom house together which really saved on housing costs. You will LOVE weaver street market, it is the best. Carborro is a pretty awesome place to live in general but so is CH.

    I’ve been living and working in Raleigh the past 4 years and still go back to CH and weaver street occaisionally….in August we are actually moving to Oregon for my husband’s post doc so we’re doing the west coast thing which is brand new too us. Good luck to you and CONGRATS – you are an inspiration for giving up cubeland and following your dreams (something I hoep to do in Oregon :)

  45. 58

    Great, Anne! Congratulations! You’ll love CH and it sounds like the program is wonderful. Good luck! (And, great post! Most suspenseful)

  46. 59

    Congratulations and all the best to your future!

  47. 60

    Congrats!!!

  48. 61
    Karina says:

    Congrats!!! the suspense was killing me.

  49. 62
    Lindsay H says:

    Congrats Anne! I’m sure you’ll love UNC…I’ve only heard great things about N. Caroline. I was pulling for CO though. Then again, I am biased though since I’m a CO native (currently displaced up in CT but heading to Boulder in September). I’m curious…is that picture of you in CO from Black Canyon on the Gunnison?

    I’ve always been curious about that particular National Park, but it’s in such a remote part of CO I haven’t made it down there. Maybe one day….

    • 63

      It is indeed Black Canyon! Good eye, I’m impressed :) One of my best friends from college lives in Paonia, so a bunch of us all went out to visit her a few years ago! It was pretty much amazing. GO! Man I love Colorado… I hope someday I’ll live there :)

  50. 64

    Congratulations! That’s awesome!

  51. 65

    Congrats, Anne! That is awesome news. I’ve heard really great things about NC and UNC in particular. I’m really excited to read about your adventures over the next couple of years!

  52. 66
    alicia says:

    Yay! Congrats Anne, very exciting :)

  53. 67

    YAY!!! Congrats!!!!

  54. 68

    I feel like I could’ve written half this post myself. :) Can’t wait until my own announcement! ;)

    Congratulations Anne, you are AWESOME!! :)

  55. 69

    Congrats!!! Can’t wait to read all about it!

  56. 70

    I kneeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww it! ;)

    You have to come see us in Charlotte!

  57. 71

    Congrats Anne! This is great news!

    I love the fact that you’ll be getting an MPH as well! Its so much better than an MS (which is what I have)

  58. 72

    Wow! I’m so excited for you! What a pretty campus!

  59. 73

    Oh my god! No way! I’m going to graduate from UNC in a couple of days! Let me know if you have any questions about the campus!

  60. 74

    Congrats! I visited Chapel Hill once and it was AWESOME! :)

  61. 75
    Arielle says:

    Congratulations!! I’m excited for you.

  62. 76

    Very exciting!! I’ve heard it’s beautiful there! Congrats :)

  63. 77

    Congratulations!! I went to UNC for undergrad and it is a phenomenal place to be in school. I hope you’ll love it!

  64. 78

    Congratulations on UNC-CH! I haven’t been reading your blog that long but got attached early :). I actually am already a registered dietitian in Memphis, TN. I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t change my decision at all. Good Luck with your career.

  65. 79

    Go Tarheels! Congratulations…I have no doubt you will be wildly successful at UNC!

  66. 80

    Congratulations! I’ve been eyeing UNC for my MPH… maybe I’ll see you there next fall? haha

  67. 81

    Go Heels! It’ll be awesome–great music, restaurants, etc, etc.

  68. 82

    WOWOOW CONGRATS!!! I just graduated with a degree in nutrition, and didn’t apply for an internship this year because it was too stressful. I’ll be applying next year, but really have to look into it more!

  69. 83

    Congrats!! I’m so excited for you!

  70. 84
    Hunter says:

    That is SO WONDERFUL!! I wish I was going to get an MPH & RD masters!! I have 2 friends who are graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill (one from the MBA program, and one from the MPH program) so let me know if you want me to ask them about housing ideas :-) SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!

  71. 85

    CONGRATULATIONS! You should be so very proud….how exciting!!!!

  72. 86
    Adventurer says:

    Sounds awesome! Congratulations — and good luck.

  73. 87

    That is so great! I am so excited for you!! As someone who really does not love their undergraduate major anymore, it is very inspiring to see you change directions and succeed!

  74. 88

    AHHHH congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. 89

    That’s so exciting!! I’ve heard nothing but great things about UNC, I’m sure you’ll love it and do great. Oh to be a college kid again!

  76. 90

    CONGRATS!!!! But secretly I was wishing you were coming back to Dickinson! :) No, UNC is perfect for you! :)

  77. 91

    SO EXCITING Anne!!!

    You know I grew up 10 minutes from Chapel Hill? We can visit when I’m in town! I’ve heard their program is excellent.

  78. 93

    Congratulations! I’m making a similar career change away from my undergrad field. We’ll never be able to saw “i wonder if I had…”!! Can’t wait to hear all about grad school :)

  79. 94

    Congrats!!!!!!!!!!! I am thinking about making the switch too, I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!

  80. 95

    All of those choices sounded amazing- I can see why you had such a tough decision! A couple of years ago I started applying to graduate school to become an RD. Then other opportunities arose, and I chose a different path, but I still have hopes of returning to it one day and this post has made those gears in my brain start turning again!

  81. 96

    Congrats! And great decision- I went to UNC-CH (several times) so am extremely biased! I seriously think you can’t beat Chapel Hill…

  82. 97

    YAY!! Congrats on making the big decision! I’m so proud (and somewhat envious ;)) of all of the amazing things you’ve been able to accomplish in your life so far. You are so determined and motivated to succeed, and that is a huge encouragement for me. And…I’m very happy to hear that you’re sticking to the East Coast :)

  83. 98

    Congratulations – sounds like it’ll be an amazing next step in your life!!

  84. 99

    Congrats!! You will love Chapel Hill! I’ve got a few friends there I would love to connect you with…one in particular who is a big runner and physical therapist! :)

  85. 101

    (I am constantly behind on my favorite blogs but…) You’re putting big ideas into my head, lady! I’m currently on a track to get a second bachelor’s at UGA since I work here and can take classes for free, but I’d feel less guilty getting a masters (my parents having paid tuition for my first degree) but UGA’s MS program would be more focused on premed students. Not me. So glad you shared! Congrats!

  86. 102

    Hey Anne!
    Just came across your blog a few days ago, and was excited to learn that you’ll be moving to Chapel Hill. I’ll be in my last year of undergrad there. Let me know if you need a tour guide and/or cooking buddy. It’s such a lovely place :-)
    Best,
    Meghan

  87. 104

    So interesting! I am looking into RD programs and kind of have my heart set on Bastyr. I loved seeing the pic of the vending maching there! Good luck with school :-)

  88. 105

    Crazy – I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m headed to UNC this fall as well! I’m in the school of global public health too, for an MS in the environmental sciences and engineering dept. Maybe we’ll run into each other there! I’m moving at the beginning of July, and I can’t lie – I’d love a running partner :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] « The Big Announcement! [...]

  2. [...] a school spirit glass of milk, because I’m 12. Guess I need to buy some UNC pint glasses now, [...]

  3. [...] over to Chapel Hill for the night to try to figure out housing for the fall. I can’t believe I’m moving here in 2 [...]

  4. [...] to go to any recently because of my weird school/work schedule. I’m really excited because when I move to North Carolina in August, there’s a co-op grocery store AND a farmer’s market right around the corner from our [...]

  5. [...] Today is my last day of work! Crazy… I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by. As you know, I’ll be moving to Chapel Hill, NC in a couple weeks to go back to school full time for my MPH-Nutrition! The program is 2.5 years and when I’m done I’ll be ready to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian. Hooray! (New readers — to read more about my journey back to school after 6 years in the working world, check out this post.) [...]

  6. [...] is going on vacation on Sunday so this is the last time I’ll see her before I move to NC in 2 weeks! Sadface. Obviously I’ll be back to visit, but [...]

  7. [...] am still alive Just crazed between packing up for the big move to NC (we roll out of DC on Tuesday!!), saying goodbye to friends, prepping to start school again, and [...]

  8. [...] Gah. Help! (If you’re new to the blog — I’m moving to North Carolina to start my Masters of Public Health in Nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill! To read all about my journey back to school after years of cubicle jobs, check out this post.) [...]

  9. [...] Announce where I’ll be attending grad school, plus my journey back to school (I applied to and was accepted to 3 schools) [...]

  10. [...] I just finished my last final exam and am officially DONE with my first year of graduate school!!! YAY! So crazy… seems like just yesterday I was announcing my big decision to attend UNC! [...]

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