Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fashion Designer vs. Registered Dietitian - Why You Should Always Follow Your Heart.

Hi everyone :)  I hope you are all simply fabulous this morning.  Later today, I'll be giving you a recipe.  This morning, I'll be sharing one of the biggest examples of how I followed my heart and how it led me to the right place.  The inspiration for the post actually came about when I was writing my about me page and realized it was turning into a deeper post entirely.  I hope this story can be inspiring to anyone who is struggling with a career decision, from a college freshman trying to pick a major to someone who is considering going back to school after being out for 20 years and everyone in between - enjoy.

Once upon a time, before I became the Gluten-Free Baker, I was just a high school girl trying to figure out what I wanted out of life. I took a food & nutrition class in high school and fell in love.  I gave serious consideration to becoming a Registered Dietitian... but... being a designer sounded so much cooler.  I debated between graphic and fashion design - being a part of the publications team at my school and a co-editor of the yearbook had given me a love of layouts.  I even bounced around the idea of becoming an industrial designer.  In the end, potential degrees in fashion design or marketing won out ahead of dietetics.  I applied to my schools - back came my scholarships and I made a big decision.  I would major in fashion design.  I started orientation for my program and heard stories of how many students would drop out that year - of course I wasn't going to be one of those - I was 17 and I felt like I knew exactly where I was headed.   Fortunately, life doesn't always end up exactly how you plan it - instead it takes you somewhere better than you ever imaged.

The only HS picture I could find online!
My first 4 months of school were filled with studios, drawing, learning and work work work... but.. while I did truly love what I was doing... a big part of me felt unfulfilled.  Could I do this forever?  My head said YES, but my heart whispered no....  

One of my favorite projects :) 

Did you know I had this much talent?

After winter break, I started to realize that while I loved the creative part of my education... I just wanted a career where I could... help people.  I debated psychology, but I didn't really know.  So, in the spring, I made a trip to the Career Development Center and met with an amazing counselor.  I took all of the quizzes that she had to offer - my results were always the same - nutrition. 18-year old me said "No, because I don't want to take Chemistry," 25-year old me laughs at this because I loved Chemistry in high school and LOVED Biochemistry in college.  Instead, of reminding myself of the A's I had gotten in high school Chemistry, I  let fear take over and jumped head first into Marketing instead.  I went to my first day of classes and literally despised them - so I dropped all of them and signed up for classes that would fill credits in either Psychology or Communication.  I met with multiple advisers,  I fulfilled my science classes with Meteorology & Astronomy... I took the easiest math courses known to man.  A year in, I was filled with a sense of dread.  I was half-way done with school and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my degree.  Something needed to happen... but what?

Another thing that needed to change was my awful pink hat :)
Near the end of summer, I ran into a friend of friends who had been undecided - I asked if she picked a major, she said I'm going into nutrition...and a voice in my head said "I should be doing that".  Literally, the next morning I changed my schedule, made an advising appointment and the rest is history.  I was finally ready to follow my heart.  Following your heart can be incredibly difficult, sometimes it doesn't even seem logical, but I'm so glad I did.  The road was not easy - I was 2 years into school and barely any of my classes transferred into my new major.  I jumped right in that fall and while my classes were extremely more difficult than before, I fell in love - I felt a love for school that I hadn't felt in along time.  My first Chemistry course was brutal - it certainly didn't help that my professor despised teaching.  But, by the second term in my newfound major, I started making the Dean's List and never looked back.  I took an entire year of Anatomy & Physiology that first summer to catch up, the second summer followed with Microbiology.  I  fell madly in love with my science classes, my nutrition classes, my ethics electives, my volunteer activities though the Student Dietetic Association


It took me 5 years to graduate with my BS in nutrition - but it was totally worth it and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Aside from the lessons I learned, I formed some truly incredible friendships that I'll always have forever.  I completed my dietetic internship the following year and in July of 2009, I became an RD.  Always remember to follow your heart.  It always knows where you need to go.

When in your life did you follow your heart, even when you were afraid to?


  1. First I have to say I'm always amazed with people that have any artistic ability because my complete lack of it makes it so unbelievable for me to comprehend how humans can create some of the things that they do. From what you shared you seem to be very talented. I can understand part of why it was difficult for you to switch from graphic/design to dietetics. There are two things I want to do that so far my heart has been unable to overpower my fears in accomplishing. This was a good reminder that I'm running out of time and I can't keep putting them off or I'll regret it!

  2. 1) You look so much the same as high school (but with better dresses haha)

    2) Love the frog pic!

    3) Back in high school, I thought a similar career path of graphic design or magazine editor was ahead of me because I loved to draw and write (yearbook editors unite! haha) I even considered going into graphic design for graduate school once in college because my love of drawing was part of what got me through my business major (it was a great program, but never really fit me). I didn't do it b/c I hate drawing on a computer.

    Good for you for changing your major and following your dreams!