“Why did I choose to become a dietitian?”
A lot of people ask this question, and I always think one of the great things about the profession is that it does generate a lot of intrigue when in a social setting. Everyone can relate in some way to dietetics; for a start we all eat and drink! But also many people tend to have close to home experiences of either weight management, allergy, intolerance or a condition such as diabetes, and therefore are instantly drawn into a discussion through relating to these. I also suppose it is one of those professions a lot of people haven’t ever really considered, and therefore are interested in what it involves. Of which many jump to the conclusion that weight management is all that is focussed on, but that’s a whole new topic entirely!
Funnily enough, being a dietitian is ridiculously far removed from anything I wished to be up until about a year before I decided to study it. I neither enjoyed nor was interested in the sciences at school or college, in fact I had my heart set on becoming a music producer. Therefore my A-levels were oriented around this goal. It was only once I began a degree in commercial music production that I soon realised this is not what I wanted to do as a career; on the side-lines and as a hobby sure, but not as a career. I always watched the programmes on diet and lifestyle on TV, the weight loss programmes and the cookery programmes, and I began to research into careers based on these interests of mine. I realised that I wanted to help people for a living, to make a real difference, and to be able to go home at the end of the day knowing I had done so.
And there it was, a degree in nutrition and dietetics, at a university right near my home town!
I took a rather brave decision then, to pack up everything I knew so far and to change direction to dietetics. This involved going back to college to study an accelerated course in maths, biology and chemistry A-levels in one year (the hardest thing I have ever done!). And coming from someone who had no interest in science or maths at school, I actually really enjoyed it! I applied to only one university, with the thought that if I didn’t get in after all of the hard work I had put in then I guess it simply wasn’t meant to be. Doing nutrition instead was not an option for me, I wanted to be a dietitian. I had an interview, and was told that I could have a place (they only took 40 people a year out of a few 100!) if I got 75% or over overall in my foundation degree. That is a lot…. But I sacrificed my social life, pretty much every hobby and degree of fun, worked very hard, and finally did it! One of the best feelings in my life was knowing I had worked hard enough to get in.
I am interested in other peoples reasons for studying dietetics, or wanting to study it?
Also did anyone else drastically change their lifestyle and career goals to pursue a career in dietetics?