It’s graduation season! Beware of large crowds wearing caps and gowns, greeting card aisles, and any large arenas. I am one of the many college students who graduated this May, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my experiences over the past 4 years.
As I’m sure many of you know, I am a student at Saint Louis University, majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. Having been a part of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department since I was a young, naive freshman stepping into my very first college class, I have come to know the faculty and the inner workings of the department extremely well.
Work Study Jobs
I started my first work study job the week before my first semester, working for the N&D Department in a kitchen that prepared healthy breakfasts and lunches for schools in underprivileged areas. This is the first time I was ever given any creative control at a job. Though there were recipes we followed, how we made the food was ultimately up to us. I learned so much about creative ways to make popular dishes more nutritious, but still delicious. Though it was a lot of heavy lifting, rigorous stirring, and cleaning of extremely large kitchen material, it was truly a privilege to be able to work there as an incoming freshman.
At the beginning of my sophomore year, I started a new job. I was still working for the Department, but this time, in a bakery attached to Fresh Gatherings Cafe, which is known for its nutritious, sustainable on-campus food. This job taught me that baking requires patience and attention to detail, and is never something to be rushed. I worked in the bakery for two years and I wouldn’t trade those two years for anything.
The summer before my senior year, I worked at the Department’s Gardens-To-Tables Culinary Camp. I hadn’t really worked too much with kids prior to this, so I was a little nervous. But it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. (See why here!) I’m so grateful to go to a school that not only provides an awesome summer experience for kids, but also for college students!
Lastly, my senior year, I worked as the receptionist at the front desk in the N&D Department. This helped me to see the inner workings of the department and witness first hand just how hard each and every faculty member works.
My classes at SLU have been incredible. I have learned to look at things through many different perspectives and approach things from various angles. I have delved into many different subtopics of nutrition and worked in real-life nutrition settings. I now feel that I have well-rounded knowledge of nutrition, sustainability, and overall health throughout the lifecycle. While I know there is still a lot more to learn, I believe that SLU did a great job of introducing me to the world of nutrition and helping me to think critically about health as a whole.
Last but not least, I wanted to mention the faculty of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department specifically. Each and every one of my teachers within the department has truly gone above and beyond to make sure that their students are knowledgeable and thriving. Not only do they care about your grades and your proficiency in nutrition, but they also care about you as a person. It is truly incredible to have teachers who challenge you academically and are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure you feel comfortable, confident, and prepared. The Department has really become like a second family to me. My bosses, my teachers, and my mentors have all played a huge role in making me into the person I am today. I couldn’t have made it through the 4 most challenging years of my life without them.
Aaaaand….. I still have another year with the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at SLU. I just couldn’t stay away. (; As I mentioned in a previous post, I will now be doing my Dietetic Internship and pursuing my Master’s in Nutrition at SLU, after which, I will be able to sit for the RD exam and hopefully become an RD! I’ve certainly worked very hard to get to where I am today. But I couldn’t have done any of it without the wonderful people that make up the N&D Department. So thank you!