When I first got the idea of becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist, I was listening to an NPR interview with someone who worked in the nutrition department at a top-notch university. Why had I never considered going into nutrition? I was obsessed with anything nutrition- and health-related, yet it never dawned on me to look for work in that field.
I immediately started looking into becoming an RDN and one program in particular looked to be a perfect fit. But the odds were stacked against me: It’s considered one of the top programs in the country and only about 20 to 25 students get admitted per year. I did look into other programs, of course, including one that was near my parents, meaning I could live at home again, be close to family and save money. But I wanted to get into the other program so badly that I did kind of put all my eggs in that basket.
After spending months on my application for both programs, I could only wait, and the longer I waited the more I doubted my choices. During this time, I was driving back and forth to my community college classes, and along the way were billboards advertising various master’s programs at a nearby private college. Every time I saw them I would think about checking it out, but it seemed too expensive. Finally, my wise and wonderful boyfriend suggested that I at least look at the program before ruling it out.
It turned out that this college wasn’t as expensive as expected, and I really liked the program! After one info session, I already felt close to the faculty, and the environment was open and warm.
I’m a strong believer that everything happens the way it is supposed to — maybe this is a convenient way to accept disappointment, but I really didn’t feel bad when I found out I didn’t get into my dream school. I was excited about the program at the nearby college, which felt like a better fit for me. It was just initially tough to see that because I was so focused on the other options. I am so happy I decided to give the private college a chance.
The lesson here? No matter how badly we think we want something, sometimes it’s not meant to be, and those disappointments can turn into something good. If I had gotten into my dream school, I probably would have chosen it over where I am now, but that would’ve been a mistake for me. Not being accepted there was the best thing that could have happened to me — I’ve just completed my second semester in the private college program and couldn’t be happier with my decision.