I don’t know about you, but I just don’t want to uni anymore.
Let’s make it clear, I don’t want to give up Dietetics. I love it so much and I’m SO excited to start working as a Dietitian, but uni? I’m done. Burnt out. Tired. Miserable. I hate uni work, I just want to go out on placement and learn things on the job, because I don’t know about you but that is how I actually learn. Not from reading PowerPoint slides.
Every day I log on to my social media and all I see is my coursemates working hard and revising. Morning noon and night. Every single day and having well deserved “treats” once a week or so. Myself? You’re lucky if I do 20 minutes reading at the moment to be honest. I’m a very very last minute person when it comes to work. I’ll prep and prep for weeks, in tiny little drips and drags. Then in the final few days, I cram. It’s what works for me, or at least, is what’s the best way for my mental health, surprisingly enough.
But I constantly feel like I should be working. Like I’m being judged because my exams in less than two weeks and I’ve barely done anything except watch a few YouTube videos and highlight a few pieces of paper.
What I’ve also found, both from students and professionals in my field is that their work seems to consume their whole life. I completely understand that if you’re passionate about something, you will put your all in and dedicate so much time to it, but I feel there’s a competitive pressure in our industry to “do the most” or “attend the most events” or “spend the most hours possible each day researching the carbon effect of omega 3s on donkey bottoms” or something like that. I can tell you one thing, I don’t. I love Dietetics but I don’t spend my free time reading papers and writing scientific blurbs.
Well, not strictly. I do a lot of blogging and I run an Instagram account (hey if you didn’t know, you can follow me here!) which are to do with food. I also read a lot about mental health, but again, this isn’t too connected to my degree. I follow lots of Dietitian’s and food accounts on social media, so technically I am always seeing something. But I don’t actively seek it out. I blog, I write, I take photos, I love fashion, I go shopping, I see friends, I go drinking, I visit new cities, I go for walks, I sit in bed binging Netflix and a tub of ice cream. That’s my way of living. Obviously, if people enjoy their career being their life and working all the time then that’s totally fine! Whatever makes people happy. But I don’t feel it makes everyone happy, I know it doesn’t make me. You can’t put your life on hold just to get a few extra marks on an assignment. Marks to me don’t matter, it’s how you are as a person. If you’re good at your career, it’ll show and you’ll make a difference. A patient ain’t gonna care that one Dietitian got 71 on an assignment and the other “”””only”””” got 56. They really don’t.
Last night, I just couldn’t settle after looking on social media. I went for a little crisp, autumn walk by the canal. I did some blogging, some baking and took a chilled evening off. Again. But do you know what? I needed it. I’ve had a manic weekend and yes, it may not have been full of work, but it was full of life. My body and mind just needed to do nothing, literally just slob, watch tv and have some peace and quiet.
Tomorrow’s a new day. Gym, uni, uni work, an afternoon in the outdoors then work. It’s jam packed, it’s busy and only around 10% of it will involve me doing uni work. But you know what, it works for me.
I love my career path, but my career path isn’t my life. I don’t have to dedicate my whole life to it if I don’t want to.
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.