1. During my first two years of undergrad I lived with three other girls as well. Ah, college, what a unique experience! haha

    I wish I had been more educated about student loans at the time. I think college students today are more aware of the dangers because they have our generation to look to as an example of what not to do. I had a scholarship for undergrad but I took out loans to pay for grad school even though I had a FT job (that job just didn’t pay super well). I wish I had just waited another year to go to grad school (when I started a better paying job), but like you said hindsight is 20/20. I couldn’t have known what the future held.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I love hearing your realistic take! This isn’t talked about enough.
    The money aspect is definitely the most stressful aspect of it all. I am amazed (and slightly jealous) when people don’t have to work/worry about money while in school. It’s hard to get a lot of experience while working two jobs. Yet, still I know this is the path I desire and feel led to take and I believe it will pay off.
    One tip I’ve gotten is don’t take out more loans than what you think your starting pay will be. I am hopeful I’ve been able to abide by that, but we will see!

    1. Kate- I completely agree with you that student loans are not talked about enough. When I was in undergrad, I did not know anything about my loans and did not know of any resources to help me make educated decisions. I think there should be a ‘finances 101’ class or something that all freshman are required to take that addresses the topic :)

      I do not regret for one minute that I decided to become an RD. I am so much happier in my clinical career that the student loan payment is worth it to me. You also have to consider the job prospects of working in nutrition without an RD… the earning potential is not nearly as high. So in the end, it evens out.

  3. Great advice! Wouldn’t they be so great if we really could create a Go Fund Me page for our student loans?? Be sure to head over to my blog today – I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award! :)

  4. Wow, Sam! You have done so much! You should be super proud of all the hard work. And it’s great you can share your experience so others can learn from what you did and have an easier time navigating. I love your tips for leaving cheaply – I think they apply to more than just college! Maybe even when you’re first starting out in the career world. Congrats on becoming an RD!

    1. Thank you! I had to add in the tip about the pet because my dog has had SO many health issues, including a torn ACL that had to be repaired in the middle of my (unpaid) internship. Definitely didn’t think about that when I got her in college…. although, I love her regardless!

  5. Thanks for sharing your journey! I think it’s important as well for those who are interested in nutrition to really consider becoming a dietitian. When I was a freshman in college, I knew I was interested in nutrition and I did a ton of research, and finally decided on dietetics.

    On the financial side– I was very lucky. My Grandpa on my Dad’s side was in the Army and had saved a large portion of his income into separate high-interest bank accounts for all of his grandchildren, to be used specifically for college. My bachelor’s was paid for in majority with this plus my parents, who had saved some as well. When it came to the dietetic internship, I was on my own! I went to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas, and the internship tuition was $7,000. Baylor and Texas Woman’s University (in Denton) have a partnership, where you can take two graduate level classes and qualify for a graduate student loan. So I did this, and took out enough money in that student loan to pay for Baylor’s tuition + any living expenses for the 10 month internship. It was hard because I had to manage the internship + a graduate course at the same time but somehow I did it!

    1. That’s awesome about your grandfather saving for your college. Hopefully by the time I have kids and they are thinking about college, there will be a better arrangement for paying for school.

  6. I’m currently a sophomore about to apply for my dietetics program. I’m really nervous about the internship after college, what all does it entail??

    1. Hi Natalee- you can actually search on the academy website for accredited programs and you can filter by state and/or distance education. If you browse through my posts I mention the site link a few times. I’m not sure if you’re referring to internship or DPD programs but there are several.

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