Remember when you were in elementary school, middle school, even high school when summer came around it was a stress-free time filled with beach days, BBQ’s and no responsibilities?? Yeah those were the days! Everyone knows that feeling of the school year dragging on and the only thing getting them through it is the fact that summer was right around the corner. After graduating high school, I quickly began to realize that summer break wasn’t going to be the same.
College is a whole different ball game when it comes to summer vacation. There is this dreading thing called summer school… DUN DUN DUN… that takes up a big chunk of summer if you decide/have to take it. Doing homework, studying and taking tests does not sound like a fun way to spend my summer. Thankfully I didn’t have to take summer school this summer but trust me, I had other things to do that would take away the excitement of summer.
If you’re not taking summer classes (or even if you are), majority of college students are spending their summer working, trying to make some money to help afford their next semester of school, pay rent and bills… basically to survive. Most of my summer will be spent working at my current job at Lifetime Fitness as a supervisor in the cafe. Summertime is definitely the busiest time of the year at my job and can get extremely overwhelming. There goes my stress-free summer. I work 40 hours a week, Monday-Friday. There are ups and downs to my job but for the most part I really enjoy it. I love the people that work there, I love the club and I love the community that comes with it. It is also a great place for me to get experience with nutrition and fitness and it will look really good on my resume when I apply to dietetic internship and/or other jobs. I just passed the one-year mark of working there and I over that past year I have learned leadership skills, people skills and problem-solving skills. It has helped me build as a person and make genuine connections with people.
Another thing that I am doing this summer is an internship with the sports dietitian at my school. I started working with her during the school year to help refuel that athletes before and after their practices. I would help set up the snacks and hand them out to the athletes, it was a pretty relaxed job. This summer is a little different. During the summer, there are certain sports teams that have to report for summer training; football and basketball being two of the biggest ones. As one of her interns, it is my job to make sure the football players are getting proper fuel before and after their strenuous practices. My jobs include preparing a pre-workout drink for them, making smoothies post-workout and providing them with nutritious snacks that help them reach their caloric need. What makes this tricky is that there are 100+ football players, 2 interns, 2 blenders, and a small time frame. Within those 100 players, some of them are needing to put on weight, others are needing to maintain their weight, and there are 2 with severe nut allergies. This makes it a little more challenging to get everything done on time but this experience is absolutely amazing! I love sports, I love nutrition and I love getting to see what it’s like to be a sports dietitian!
Although I am studying to eventually be a registered dietitian, I decided this summer that I would attempt to get my nutrition certification. This difference between the two is that the role of a dietitian is more regulated than that of a nutritionist. Dietitians are required to earn a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university, complete an internship and pass their national examination. Dietitians ultimately organize food and nutrition plans and promote healthy eating habits to prevent and treat illness. A nutritionist tends to have a broader, more general meaning. The title is not generally protected, meaning it can be used by anyone. They typically do not have professional training and therefore, should not be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Nutritionists can offer support to people wanting to change their nutrition habits. They can give them basic tips and healthy food preferences but they cannot legally give nutrition advice. I figured this was a good way to 1) keep educating myself about nutrition and 2) start coaching people on how to live healthy lives! (This is a plug for myself, if you need nutrition coaching HIT YA GIRL UP)
While balancing work and my internship, I am also attempting to have some sort of social life. This aspect is definitely struggling and being in a fairly new relationship, it gets a little challenging. Thankfully my boyfriend is so understanding about my busy schedule and he supports me in all that I do! I also have extremely supportive friends that constantly push me to be and do my best! I have a lot on my plate this summer but I feel like I am exactly where I need to be at this moment.