Matching for the Dietetic Internships (DI) is wrapped up. For many juniors in the program, this is a scary time. There might be a lot of time now, but it will go by fast. For sophomores and freshmen (maybe even the juniors or seniors too) in nutrition programs, you have a bit more time. I have some words of encouragement for you.
- Find something that scares the shit out of you and do it. You can talk about this during the DI application, how you started off scared of something (e.g. public speaking), and how you improved.
- Be bold. You really want to stand out in some way. There are a lot of ways you can do this. Oftentimes, hobbies or lifestyle choices can benefit you if you spin it in a certain way. For example, playing on a sports team shows dedication and the ability to be part of a team. Being involved in student organizations shows potential leadership experience. Hell, if you really want to, starting a blog is pretty easy. I mean, lookit this guy.
- Be good at what you do. One piece of advice I got from a professor was to pick a couple things you are good at, and flaunt them to whoever will want to see them. For me, I tried to stay active on Twitter, WordPress, Facebook and others. Eventually due to burnout, I stopped being so active on Twitter, and keep my Facebook for friends and family only. I found it difficult to keep up with everything, and this was only a small smattering of social media. However, I have also started to take up fiction writing. It can be intimidating trying to get everything done that dietetics classes recommend, so I will be the contrarian. Find some hobbies you like, and do them well.
- Be yourself. One would think that being a potty-mouthed metal-head shows me as less professional than many of the other students in the program. However, when I have tried to “fit-in” with the crowd, I felt very artificial. I despised giving more professional presentations too. However, I have found ways to maintain my sense of self, while being appropriate for work, and maintaining a professional demeanor. I still go into class with band-tee shirts, but when the time comes I try and put on professional face, while still maintaining the quirkiness I try and provide.
- Have fun. I wish this was as easy as it sounds. Studying can be a big pain, even if it’s something you’re interested in. Sometimes you need a break to figure out what you need. Sometimes having fun is doing something else, like watching a movie, playing video games, or even spending time with friends and family. I am wrapping up my fifth year of college. If it wasn’t for my hobbies, or friends and family I would have lost my sanity a long time ago. Or at least, the last remaining bits of my sanity.
Success can be seen in many more ways than I listed. Success is also loosely defined. You can do all of these things, yet fail at what you do. Just remember, that is not the end. Not everyone’s path is the same, and it is up to you to determine if you succeeded or not.