Applying for the Dietetic Internship is absolutely a labor of love, and not for the faint of heart.
1. "Why are there 15 parts to this application!?"
First, you have to make an account on DICAS, okay fine. Then you have to painstakingly enter every nutrition-related class you've ever taken, manually, into a form. And then do the same for your achievements and extracurriculars. And write an essay, maybe two. You have to have references, transcripts, and several important certifying documents from the university. They also want your family tree up to nine generations, a hair sample, and the small broken pieces of your soul that you were saving for your next scrapbook.
2. "Do I really want to be an RD?"
The answer is obviously yes, but if this application doesn't make you question your calling, the fact that you won't be paid for the entire internship might.
3. "Wait, I'm entering a contest to NOT get paid?"
Yep. Its a hell of a thing to learn that the only way you can reach your dream of being a registered dietitian is to take on a ton of debt and give your blood, sweat, and tears away for free - But it's worth it.
4. "Who decided the whole app would be plain text?"
I’m just wondering. I love me some HTML, I'll tell you that right now. I do not enjoy plain-text boxes or anything they stand for. Yuck.
5. "Okay, seriously, did my thing just get deleted!?"
DICAS tries. They do. Your thing didn't get deleted, you just have to refresh whatever you were doing and it will be there. Thanks for the heart attack though.
It's not enough to say you volunteered. You have to know who your supervisor was, their number, their grandmother's shoe size, and the phase of the moon while you were volunteering. Because.
7. "I have 3 mont- days? I have DAYS until this is submitted?"
This process goes by fast and time only seems to slow down while you're bingeing The Punisher on Netflix instead of doing your application. John Bernthal, if you read this, can I please be your Dietitian?
8. "How many of these applications can I afford? Like, sanity-wise."
Rightfully, every internship is looking for something different. They want to know that you know what you're getting into when you applied to their program and that you're not just going to apply to every single program. They all cost different amounts to apply. Some students may spend $150 - $250 on applying to only one internship, others may spend $800 and apply to 12. Straight jackets are sold separately.
9. "How am I going to live without a job for a year?"
Unfortunately, a lot about applying for a dietetic internship comes down to money. This is a big question without a simple answer. I am lucky enough to have been working full-time for the last 5 years, but that is really not normal for dietetic students graduating with their first degree. Does Dawn dish soap make a good shampoo? Guess we'll find out.
10. "Why didn't I start volunteering when I was 5?"
Note to self: Increase my future child's chance at getting an internship by forcing them to amass 1 million hours of volunteer work by the time they want to apply anything. It's too late for me.
11. "I should have finished before school started again."
I guess I'm a sucker for a good deadline, but I'm definitely stretching myself.
12. "I have plans B through Z if I'm not matched."
With competition being what it is, the reality of needing to have a back-up plan is very present. Grad school? Work? Move to Florida, change my name to M-Drizzle and open a gourmet waffle house with a wall of specialty syrups? I'm keeping my options open.
13. "I have never wanted anything so bad in my life."
Except to pee when I have to pee, because I drink a lot of water. Seriously though, I am willing to pay all the money, do all the papers, application parts, astrological charts, and genealogy. I will be the best intern on the planet.
Just please pick me.
When it gets hard, remember why you started. The deadline for DICAS applications is February 15. See you on the other side!