Five years ago, I graduated high school. I could have sworn to you that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was so sure of everything - who I would stay close to, how fast I would finish school, how everything would work the way I planned it to be. Funny thing is, pretty much nothing went as planned. Things fell apart in almost every aspect of my life (school especially), but I got back up and did what I had to do to make things work, and now things are finally working.
I went into college thinking it’d be easy to get into nursing school. I totally convinced myself that I wanted to become a nurse like my brother. Coming from a high school that didn’t have that much competition, going to a cal state instead of a university was mine and my parent’s strategic plan to get into a nursing school. I really went into college thinking it wouldn’t be that much different. Being a naive 18 year old, I took my prereqs and yeah, I did well - but there were always people who did better. I applied for nursing school after finishing my prereqs and was denied. Not even waitlisted. I was discouraged, but I didn’t want to let my parents down, so I applied again the next year. Denied again. It wasn’t until then that I thought about it and I asked myself…
Wait. Why do I want to get into nursing school?
I wasn’t passionate about it. There were people who out there who were hungry for it, who wanted to be a nurse so bad. I really just didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life, so the next best thing was to do something that my parents wanted me to do. But I couldn’t get into a program, and I sure as hell didn’t want to go through the financial troubles of going to a private school so I changed my major and that was the best decision I made in my college career.
Nutritional science & dietetics. Okay, so I don’t eat healthy. I barely exercise unless it’s dancing. But after the help of my advisor, I figured… well maybe it’s something I can fall in love with. I took numerous classes on health and wellness, and sure enough it intrigued me enough to where I could SEE myself being in that profession. So I told myself, why the hell not.
So I’ve spent two years taking courses trying to figure out where I wanted to take this. Do I wanna be an obesity/diabetes educator? Do I wanna become a clinical dietitian? I really didn’t fucking know anything for a while, I just liked taking the classes and I figured, welll at least I don’t have to get into a stupid program! I even lied to my family and friends - all this time they still thought I was trying to get into nursing school, when really I already gave up on that so-called dream. I’ve been a nutritional science major for two years, and let me tell you… it’s changed the way I see food and how much it affects your life. Yeah I drink excessively, and I’ll never give up eating buffalo wings, but I know the affects of food on your body and that’s more than I can say about anything else I ever learned in 5 years.
So It took two years, but it’s finally come to last few classes that realllllly help you determine what route you want to take with nutrition. Community nutrition, clinical nutrition, and food service management andddd… I found myself in love with management. I love the idea of purchasing/receiving, running the floor and managing the works of a commercial business, all while using my nutrition education to form a menu & be able to analyze the foods & the income of a restaurant. It finally fucking clicked!! I FINALLY KNEW WHAT THE FUCK I WANTED TO DO WITH MY LIFE.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do 5 years ago. I tricked myself into thinking that nursing was my thing and that I could be just like my brother and my million other friends that want to become nurses. I respect everyone who wants to become one but in retrospect, I’m more glad than sad that I was denied an acceptance into nursing school. It helped me realize that there was more out there than I knew. There was more to me than I knew.
In 4 months I’ll be graduating with a bachelors in nutritional science & dietetics with an option in food service management, and in 5 months I’ll be applying to grad school for a masters in hospitality management. I’ve never felt so good about where I’m going and I’ve never felt so determined to get somewhere. This time, it’s not only for my parents. This is for me, too.
I couldn’t have gotten here without the support of my family & friends and for that I’m more than thankful.
I finally have a destination and I’m eager to get there. :)