An Update on my Road to RD...

Hey there! It's been awhile, but I'm happy to be back checking in :) It feels wonderful to write, especially a happy post like this one!

As most of you know, for the past couple years I have been taking various science courses, brushing up my chemistry/stoichiometry/microbiology/biochemistry (*head explodes just thinking about it*) skillz, in order to fulfill the prerequisites for a masters in nutrition program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I submitted my application in January. I played the waiting game until late March when I got an e-mail asking me to schedule a time to be interviewed in the next week. I was overjoyed (to say the very very least). Out of a hundred or so applicants, the program only accepts 20- and I always thought that if I could just get to the interview, I could really have a shot. 

The day of my interview I was beyond nervous. This was it, was what I kept thinking. My entire future relies on 5 to 10 minutes of interaction with people I've never met. People who don't know me at all beyond a one-page personal statement and a GPA. In order for this to work, I knew I would have to lay everything on the table. I would need to find a way to convey my passion (which, if you've ever tried really describing what you're passionate about, is truly difficult) for health and wellness. I would need to input the sheer essence of me in everything I said. I would need to convey the magnitude of how much this would mean to me. How much getting a second chance at the career of my dreams would mean to me.

No pressure though. 

And then the interview came and went. No huge surprises (once you've been to more than five interviews, you kind of know what they're going to ask). No huge flops. There came a moment at the end of the interview when they asked me why I should be accepted into the program. And, because I am mostly emotions covered with skin and bones these days, I got choked up and said something about promising to work harder than I've ever worked and to give everything I had to be successful. I hadn't anticipated that question at all but I remember thinking in that moment how pivotal my answer would be. 

I was told that I would hear by the end of the month (2 weeks from my interview date). But exactly a week after my interview I got another e-mail. 

I was sitting in a Panera Bread downtown after a doctor's appointment (always such a relief to be done with those), eating lunch using a gift card I got from Christmas, when the e-mail banner update came across the top of my phone. I saw who it was from and my heart stopped as I dragged my finger down to reveal the message...

I had been accepted.  

And my thoughts became a jumble of fireworks and exclamation points and feelings of OMG and Holy Crap! and Mother of Pearl! (ok, maybe not that one). And, because I am mostly emotions covered with skin and bones these days, I cried.

And to this very day, three months after the fact, I get choked up thinking about it. To say I am grateful for the opportunity is a dramatic understatement. I have been blessed with the privilege and ability to follow my dreams and I will never forget that. I am so honored to be apart of this program and so excited to learn everything I need to help people be happy and healthy. Because, when you boil everything down, that's what any passion worth pursuing is all about: to bring happiness to others. To make this world, this gigantic world filled with billions of people and trillions of organisms, just a little better, a little more manageable, a little less lonely and scary everyday- that's what I want to do. And now I've been blessed with the opportunity to be given the tools to do just that.

And I promise you, more than anything, that I will not squander that opportunity. 

Much love,

Aly