If you take any class in college...let it be a nutrition course!
Remember when your academic advisor bugged you about needing a random 4-credit-class? Well, this is your chance! Every university has a set of general requirements students must take, such as science and writing. I went through my first two years taking random classes to cross these requirements off my degree guide, but I wish I would have taken the opportunity to explore more possible areas of study. Like whatever happened to home economic courses?
The University of Oregon has over 100 different minors. I recently declared a Food Studies minor because my dream is to open an authentic Mexican ice cream shop with my family. One of the intro courses to Food Studies is a nutrition course: Human Physiology 105: Principles of Nutrition. What led me to take this class was essentially my minor’s requirements, but I wish universities promoted and offered more classes centered around health and wellness.
In school, we learn how to write and read but never how to listen to our bodies. I knew taking a nutrition course and having a history of disordered eating would be challenging, but I also figured it’d be a way to get closer to recovery. From learning how to read a nutrition label to understanding why our metabolism slows down with time, I am learning the basics of nutrition (and it’s only week 3). The instructor is a registered dietician, and it’s one of the most engaging courses I’ve had in my entire undergrad. We even have an interactive activity break during each lecture which helps students stay engaged. My hope would be that every student takes at least one nutrition course in their college career. Additional nutrition courses center around food insecurity topics and explore systemic food issues. Nutrition courses can often count as a science requirement, so it’s always great to double-check with an advisor if you want the credit to apply directly to an area on your degree. However, some students take a nutrition course because they are on the pre-med track, but no matter what you’re studying, food is a connector.
Freshman year of college is a formative time in our career. I went from living at home with my family and never worrying about grocery shopping to not knowing what to eat at the dining halls. During sophomore year, I lived off-campus, and I had to take the initiative and go grocery shopping and do the cooking. My diet changed, my body changed, and I developed an eating disorder. I wish someone would have advised me to take a nutrition course or reach out for professional help sooner. Taking a nutrition course is by no means a replacement to seeing a dietician or therapist, but I consider it a key towards recovery.
Whether you want to go into dietetics or not, I can’t stress enough how impactful a nutrition course can be. You can be a marketing major, an engineering major, or even a music major and still take this course! Food is a universal language, and it’s essential to learn how to take care of our bodies adequately.