I’m back for my big announcement — where I’ll be moving in the fall and attending graduate school!
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…
…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.
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.
In the fall I took Organic Chemistry and Biology 101, and this semester I’ve been taking Anatomy & Physiology and Human Nutrition.
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.
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:
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!
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 🙂
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…
That’s right, friends — I’m officially becoming a Tar Heel!
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!
- 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 🙂