I’m moving to New Orleans on Saturday.
That’s just a tad under 1500 miles away from home. That’s pretty far.
I’m moving to complete a dietetic internship at Tulane University. For those who don’t know, a dietetic internship is like a residency for a dietitian: 1600 hours of supervised practice in all different areas of dietetics. For my program, I’ll have rotations in everything from medical nutrition therapy, to oncology, to NICU, to Head Start, to school food service, to Edible Schoolyard New Orleans and everything in between. To become an RD, I had to go to an accredited undergraduate program where I learned the facts that I’ll be applying over the next year. It’s going to be intense, it’s going to be interesting, and I’m going to learn a lot. And I am so excited.
Becoming an RD is not something that I intended to do when I enrolled as a nutrition major at UMass. I was interested in nutrition, sure, but I was more of a biology person, looking at the tiny little processes, receptor binding, doing research on environmental endocrine disruptors since before I was even a student. A few things came together to flip the switch in my mind. First, I spoke with one of my professors who is an RD and has a master’s degree and PhD. Although she doesn’t practice clinically, she says she is happy that she is an RD because it provides a lot of job security in many different areas of nutrition (remember the breadth of those rotations?). Also, I worked really hard during my undergrad years – I never rested until I knew I was prepared for whatever was coming up in the next few days. I made myself crazy! I don’t need a job that will force me to be even crazier. Lastly, I came to value wellness as a whole. I started running, became a group fitness instructor and nutrition advisor at the gym, and started to realize how vitally important it is for people to take care of themselves – and how few actually do it. I also learned a lot during my senior year about how many people are actually unable to eat healthfully, and I see myself working in an area that allows me to change this.
That being said, moving really sucks. Packing up every material possession, constant loads of laundry to make sure everything is clean, trying to determine which clothes you’ll need for the week between when the moving van takes off and when you’ll intercept it again at the destination. Not to mention the physical and mental strain required to pack bureaus, beds, sofas, and boxes perfectly into five feet of a truck. Having finally finished, I came up with a few tips:
1. Do not lift hard the day before you intend to pack a moving truck. It really hurts. Trust me.
2. You can never have too much packing tape. I thought that three brand new rolls would be excessive (they came in a pack together). It wasn’t.
3. Befriend strong men. Having worked at a gym for several years, I’ve got some muscles in my group of close friends. If my mom and I had tried to pack that truck without my boyfriend, things would have gotten ugly.
4. Feed said muscle men. Everyone works better on a full stomach. Have a full refrigerator if possible. Leftovers to start, some sort of (healthy!) take out if the job continues into the evening.
5. If it’s hot out, pack the truck late in the day. The breeze does not blow inside the truck. It gets pretty hot in there.
6. Play tetris. You’ve gotta think like an engineer when packing the truck. Identify strengths of each piece that you’re packing: mattresses and box springs can be used like walls to hold boxes in place. Pillows and cushions are helpful around delicate wood furniture or other breakable/scratchable things. Use these strengths to your advantage.