EMU, UW, Bastyr

EMU, UW and Bastyr are all schools and the last 2 weeks all my free time has been consumed by these three universities. Now, why in the world would I be talking about schools when it took me 6 years to get my BS because I strongly disliked school so much!? Why would I be talking about school when everyone who knows me has at least once heard me say I would never go back to school for my master’s.

…I guess you could say, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided to do what I should have done years ago: become a registered dietician.

In high school that is what I wanted so I went to community college with a vague idea of how to accomplish that goal, I focused my schooling on getting my AA degree and eventually transferring to a university. I had no clue which school I wanted to go to but then the boyfriend suggested that I go to CWU, and I looked into their Nutrition program and was happy to see they had an excellent one! I signed up for my science and nutrition classes and was excited to be taking the next step. A couple days into the quarter I decided that I really wanted to work with the community educating them about health and also discovered that science classes were really hard. I dropped all my nutrition classes and met with an adviser in the Public Health (Community Health Education track) program to get into the health classes. For the next two years I loved learning all I could about different health topics, developing programs, social marketing, drugs, and epidemiology.  I graduated, got an awesome internship at my number one place, then was offered a job doing what I love. I am so incredibly lucky and grateful to have a job using my education, I know so many people who are not as fortunate.

I enjoy what I do but what it comes down to is that I’m not doing what I LOVE. I want to work with people on a one on one basis in a counseling setting, talking about their goals and creating meal plans for them. I have a strong calling to work with overweight/obese children and those suffering with eating disorders, and that’s why I’m going back to school!

The decision happened pretty quickly. I did about 5 hour of research on what schooling it takes to be an RD, job growth, potential jobs/careers and starting salaries. I can’t be more excited to finally be going to school to be a dietician after dreaming about it 10 years ago!

My research has taught me this:

– all schools require some prerequisite classes

-dietetic internships (DI) are impossible to receive (a 50% placement rate) and required to have before taking the RD exam

-there are coordinated programs where you complete your DI and course work at the same time

-there is only one school in WA with the coordinated program and one school in the country that offers their program online

-of the three schools I am looking into, all have acceptance rates of about 35% of all applicants

A lot of this information has added stress to my life these last two weeks.

More school loans!

Not beginning my career until after I’m 30!

Pushing back having a child! Pushing back buying a house!

Not being able to move if Dan finds an out of state job!

A high possibility of having to relocate for my DI!

Taking classes while working full time!

But in the end, I know this is the best decision I can make, with all of those things working against me, I know that I will love being an RD and going to work doing something that means so much to me.

My plan:

This journey will not be short (which honestly bums me out) and it will be difficult. I plan to take 2 classes/quarter at community college while still working full time at my current job. I need to maintain a 3.25 GPA in all of these pre-req classes for many of the schools. I will study for and take the GRE this summer. I will apply to schools in January 2014 and continue to finish up my pre-req classes. If accepted, I will start one of the programs September 2014! This will either be a 2 year coordinated program (fingers crossed!) or a 2 year program with an additional 6-24 month internship after completing the coursework. Once my DI is completed I will take the RD exam and start looking for a job in the field.

I am actually excited to start taking some classes next month, I will be taking a basic math class, basic chemistry and psychology.

Cheers to starting this new adventure!

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