Reflecting on the Student Experience

Notebook with pen on wooden desk background; notebook has title, "Internship," with checklist underneath with following items: practice, experience, training skills
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They say time flies when you’re (mostly) having fun. Never have I believed or put so much weight into that phrase until I looked at my calendar and realized I only have one month left of my dietetic internship. In roughly four weeks, my experience as a dietetics student will end, and I will move into the professional phase of my life as a registered dietitian nutritionist. After realizing how fast these last five years flew by, I thought now would be the perfect time to take a minute to reflect on my journey so that I can cultivate gratitude for the experiences and people that got me here. After all, it’s hard to appreciate the destination without remembering the journey. Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Remember Who Got You Here

This could be anyone, from your friends and family to your professors or preceptors. Remember who helped you or pushed you to succeed in your journey.  Be thankful for all that they did, from educating you to being a support system when times seemed hard or overwhelming. We all have a team, and it’s important to appreciate them. Some ways to show your appreciation include:

  • Sending a handwritten thank you card
  • Meeting up for coffee and thanking someone in person
  • Inviting them to your internship graduation to be a part of your celebration

Think of All You Learned!

A few years are a long time to absorb information and collect experiences! Remember the scared freshman starting out on this path that had no idea what an RDN was, let alone what the job really entailed? Well, not only are you now well versed on all kinds of formerly terrifying things — looking at you, MNT and biochemistry — but you also now have 1,200 hours of experience in the dietetics world under your belt! Remember that, and radiate confidence as you pursue your dream career.

Appreciate Yourself

Finally, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. You worked hard, and you should remember to recognize and appreciate your own effort and the person you have become!

Taylor Beard
Taylor Beard is a medical nutrition therapist at Mercy Rehab and a dietetic assistant at Cox Health in Springfield, MO. She completed her dietetic internship at Missouri State University in May 2018.