Hey heyyy I’m 4/7 done with grad school and I thought it was about time for another part to this journey. I made part one of this post mainly talking about how I got through the admissions process and the classes upon starting CSULA’s program.
Just to recap, I’ve completed everything that I need to do for my rotations and now just 3 Masters classes and my Thesis submission stands between me and clinicals!
Heres a breakdown of life thus far
Summer Quarter 2016: Sumer quarter jam packed with biochem and lots of food science classes in the kitchen making goodies.
Fall Semester 2016: My first encounter with MNT, cultural cuisine, and more food science classes + advanced nutrition etc.
Spring Semester 2017: Much of the same as above just the second part.
Fall Semester 2017: Grad classes only + one last professional writing class that was undergrad. I really got a TON out of this class. So many tools to make me a better public speaker and presenter- very thankful to have had the professor I did.
Upcoming Spring Semester 2018: Special topics in nutrition and some business/private practice type class + thesis submission and re write because I’m not happy with it.
(The start of it all- Summer 2016- only a week after graduating DePaul!)
Upon admission to the program I still had all the undergrad nutrition classes (since my undergrad degree was in health science) to take in addition to the masters classes in addition to rotations! It was really overwhelming to look at and I thought it would be the longest road ever. Plot twist, it went lightning fast. I guess thats what happens when you have a steep learning curve for a subject you really love and some AMAZING friends.
(some of my grad friends and my best friend and I took a trip to glamp in Zion National Park- we make sure to do fun things besides study and it has made this whole grad school thing so fun!)
I’ve completed 17 classes ranging from Food Service (1 and 2), Medical Nutrition Therapy (1 and 2), Advanced Nutrition (1 and 2), Experimental Foods, Community Nutrition, Maternal and Child Nutrition, Assessment Lab, Cultural Cuisine, and MORE. This gave me the foundation of nutrition that I needed to have an informed conversation with a friend or client. The cool stuff came later though- I like learning how to apply things. I think my internship will be my favorite part.
The coolest part about grad school for me has honestly been the techniques I learned through my graduate courses. This semester I was enrolled in Advanced Counseling Techniques, Research Methods, and Nutritional Epidemiology. My favorite was 100% counseling because this is my jam. I’ve been counseling for many years without knowing it and found many of the techniques learned to be second nature to me. Through my time at the Y I’ve been able to be a mentor for my campers and youth program participants and it’s made my life so full. Y kids and clients really aren’t that different. Both of them have problems, both want to make goals, and both chose me to guide them (which btw I’m honored by). Simple as that.
I also really enjoyed my research methods class. My favorite part was being able to pick a topic and write a full research proposal in addition to leading a 3 hour seminar on 4 primary research articles of our choice. Prior to these classes life was really teacher led versus student led and I thought I wouldn’t be good at teaching myself. I was pleasantly surprised that with my new found freedom I learned so much and enjoyed it!
So, what’s next?
I have 3 final courses for Spring 2018 to tie up my graduate school career and then off I go into the world of dietetic internships. As far as I know, I’m starting with clinical first and progressing from there. My goals as an RD have stayed the same for a while. I would love to work part time for a hospital, Kaiser is the thought right now, and slowly open up my private counseling practice through phone calls and some in person meetings through a rented office space. Life has taken me on quite the ride though so I’m open to things changing. One thing is for sure, I want this blog to be of use to people! I really, really, want to create some basic nutrition class modules that can be purchased through here since basic nutrition is something I believe all people should have access to. I have no idea if life will keep me in LA or if I’ll move back to Chicago for a bit. Only time will tell.
Things that have helped me in this phase of grad school:
- Continuing education. I’ve been educating myself on all things Intuitive Eating so that I feel confident talking about it. I’ve taken seminar courses with Robyn and Kylie as well as some through the Academy (if you are a dietetics student and aren’t a member -check it out!) These have provided me with oodles of tools to use with future clients! I think you have two choices in grad school. 1- sit and learn what is simply required or 2- push yourself and your education further. I’m 100% positive #2 will get you farther than #1. Will keep you posted on that.
- Self care. I keep up my movement, good sleep, keeping yummy food around, mani pedis, doing my hair, and relationships because even though I’m really exhausted from school my self care practices make my life more well-rounded. I have put a lot of effort into only hanging around positive and goal driven people too because I’ve realized life is too damn short to have negative people in your life. Also, I’ve been practicing going with gut decisions as a form of self care too and it’s been good (hard but good). Trusting my gut to tell me if going out with friends is what I need or staying in is what I need, trusting my gut to tell me if I mesh with a person or not, trusting myself to know when I need a good cry or to consider therapy again, trusting my gut to tell me that focusing on school more than the blog has been a good decision, trusting that my life is good for me and that comparing myself to other people will do me no good.
- Good books! Reading this is a must if you are curious about Intuitive Eating and making peace with food. I’m about to dive into this one. It has taken me a while because I’m just going to be honest most of my reading during this semester has been so dense and nutrition related all I wanted was an escape so I read these.
- Unfollowing all the peeps. You guys, one thing I can.not.stand. are large instagram influencers promoting diet culture. If I hear one more person promote being paleo and sugar free and going on a low FODMAP diet while also avoiding all gluten containing products and sprinkling moon dust and blending collagen into their coffee I’m going to throw my phone against a wall. Since I know that talk will always be there I just unfollowed it all. I unfollowed so many people and it felt amazeballs. I then refollowed a bunch of people like these. Some of these people have been on my feed for years some more recent. I know I am forgetting people and will come back and edit!
- Having FUN. I used to make a lot of freaking excuses. I’m not going to lie. Here were a few of my favorites.
- “Ugh I’m not going (basically anywhere in LA) because there is too much traffic”
- “I don’t have time for _____ I’m too busy”
- “I’m scared of doing that for ___ reason”.
- “I could be using my time for ____” .
So, here’s the thing. We are all busy. We are all scared. We are all REALLY good at making excuses. A few months back I just decided to screw the excuses and try new restaurants or places in LA, meet new people, go out with friends, travel, say yes more than no (if fear was holding me back) and say no more than yes (if a situation made me uncomfortable or I was in the situation for the wrong reason or I knew I needed a different thing at that time). That all resulted in me having a whole lot more fun and I’m planning on keeping that mentality from now on or at least do my best to!
So yeah, that’s where I’m at as far as me and with school. I think the next update will be at the beginning or middle of clinical? Maybe I’ll do a breakup of each rotation because that is something I wish I would have been able to read from someone else. Hope you all have a great week.