I think it was some time in the early fall of 2011 I decided I was going to trade in my years of experience as a medical practice administrator, leave my comfort zone and return to college as a fullt-time student to earn the registered dietitian credentials. After all that I had been through emotionally after Tim’s diagnosis and treatment earlier in the year, I knew that I needed a fresh start in my life to do something that was fulfilling and stimulating to my mind, body, spirit and soul. I have to thank Tim for being so adamant about me not taking another administrator job for the sake of having a “job” and earning a paycheck. If I didn’t have that time to heal and rejuvinate, I probably would be miserable doing the same old same old.
I had no idea where to begin when I embarked this journey, so I called the director of the nutrition program at Syracuse University to gather the data to see if this desire and dream of mine was even a possibility. I remember thinking to myself before punching in her telephone number that since I had already earned a BS and a MBA, that I would probably need approximately one semester max filled with a few nutrition / science related courses to start the master’s program at SU. Wrong I was with a capital W!!!
My jaw was practically dragging on the ground after my initial conversation with the director of the master’s program. I learned that I was way off base with my initial calculations of the preliminary coursework I needed before I could even think about filling out an online application to SU. Not only was I told I needed to take a gozillion science and nutrition related classes that were not appearing anywhere on my current transcripts; but, I needed to take the GRE- no exceptions, ifs, ands, or buts about that. I’m telling you that GRE was almost a deal breaker for me and if you could surmise from my last post, I sucked it up and took it bitching, screaming and complaining the whole way.
I was overwhelmed with questions and decisions to make and never thought that this dream would ever become reality because it was going to take much longer than I ever imagined and that three letter word- GRE. Of course, the cost benefit equation popped up several times in my mind which was equally important if not more important in the overall decision process. Tim and I have both worked full-time since we got together and were accustomed to a two paycheck family and I never in a million years thought that we could survive on one paycheck. I guess I was wrong. As the saying goes, you can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.
Once I got over the initial shock of how long and expensive this new career educational process would take, I formulated an action plan outlining the pre and co requisite coursework I needed so I could get from point A to point RD in somewhat of a reasonable timeframe. Believe me, I begged and groveled with many of the colleges I spoke to about my desire to “getter done faster” and they kept telling me, “no you can’t do that”. Entering the field of dietetics is very systematic and sequenced so that you can’t run before you can walk and you must follow all of the rules before you proceed. Trust me, I devised several compelling and convincing ideas to expedite the process but for some reason nobody wanted to entertain those creative suggestions. It basically was the schools way or the highway and I made the decision to follow the schools outline.
My journey started here:
Semester 1- Spring 2012
Anatomy & Physiology I w/ lab
General Biology w/ lab
Nutrition in Health
Elementary Algebra I – don’t laugh- the college made me take it – too many years had passed since I took a math class and the registrar’s office was never going to allow me to enroll in required chemistry class without Algebra1 and Trigonomety. Secretly, I was ok with this because it was going to be a nice refresher for that horrific GRE.
Semester 2- Summer from hell 2012
Anatomy & Physiology II w/ lab
Semester 3- Fall 2012
Quantity Food Preparation & Service
Applied Food Sanitation
Intermediate Algebra w/ Trigonometry- there it is again.
Health Field- (nutrition course)
Semester 4- Spring 2013
Chemistry I w/ lab
Food Service Management
Food Selection Preparation & Service w/ lab
Photography- obviously not needed but why not, right.
GRE- not a course, just a test and by now you probably are on to me – this was the only thing in the process I procrastinated on until the last possible moment and deadline.
Semester 5- Summer 2013 – TBD if it is another summer from hell
Chemistry II w/ lab
Fall 2013-Spring 2015 – Syracuse University here I come for graduate studies in Nutrition.
Post Spring 2015 – Dietetic Internship – and I have definitely peeked at Oh, the places I could go to satisfy this requirement. Napa Valley, CA, NYC, and I’m hoping something in Hawaii will make it to my top 5 choices.
It’s happening! I am starting graduate school in the fall at Syracuse University and I couldn’t be happier! Time flies when you are having fun. Going back to school as a full-time student has been both a blast and eye opener! I have really enjoyed the courses and stimulating my brain again. I have even met some wonderful young minds throughout the process that keep me young and on my toes.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t think that I would have ever survived this curriculum the first undergraduate time around. Probably would have changed majors after the first semester. You need some serious discipline and solid studying habits if you want to succeed in nutrition or any related science field. It seems that A&P and Chemistry are the filtering out courses for those individuals that choose happy hours over study hours. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.