a day in the life of a chore-oriented, introverted dietetic intern

Happy Monday, everyone! It might be too soon to say, but I have a strong feeling this first rotation is the most hectic out of all of them! During the first week of rotation one, I was assigned about 12 competencies that consist of 20+ assignments with most taking a few hours to complete.  They’ve been quite fun and educational! I thought I should start sharing my calendar from each month during the dietetic internship for anyone who wants a peek into a dietetic intern’s day… or 31 days. : ) I’m an organize freak. I like color coordination, labels, to-do lists and all things noted and checked. {Click on the middle thumbnail above for a full view of January’s agenda.} Realizing the little things I do everyday to stay prepared with food, assignments and events, got me thinking about posting tips and advice for myself as a reminder throughout the internship and sharing them with current or future dietetic interns, of course. A future post will definitely mention some advice on how to get through a DI, once I’ve gotten it down myself, of course, but I think I’ll need to wait till the end of a few more rotations.

A day in the life of a dietetic intern 

6:30a · wake up and get dressed

7:00a · make coffee and breakfast and grab my lunch tote prepped and packed the night before

7:20a · head out to arrive 10-15 minutes early to rotation {this site is only 20 minutes away from the condo}

8:00a-4:30p · work on classwork and competencies, which include presentations, handouts, study guides, lesson plans, budgeting, meal planning, observation, assessments, etc. lunch in between and sometimes, nap if necessary.

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5:00p · grocery shopping on the way home or  a quick workout. Since my gym membership conveniently ended before the start of my dietetic internship, I’ve been gym-less for the first time in five years!  I must admit that getting back into the groove of working out early in the morning has been a bit difficult, but being prepared with affordable exercise equipment at home has helped maintain the motivation.

5:30p – 7:00p · cook, prep meals, and have dinner. luckily for me, cooking during the DI has been therapeutic. I spend two days out of the week cooking meals for at least 3-4 days at a time, so I’m not constantly in the kitchen.

7:00p – 8:30p  · get some class and rotation assignments done. This is usually minimal if it’s Tuesday-Thursday because I’m prepping for the next day’s presentations or assessments. On Friday nights and through the weekend, I work on assignments all day unless I’m visiting L.A.

9:00 p – 11:00p · shower, settle in and FaceTime with Jj until bedtime. He’ll usually stay on with me until I fall asleep because I have trouble sleeping here from time to time.

After the first week of the internship, my sister said this to me:

“The world will conspire against you to test if you really want something. In this case, it is testing you and how much you want to excel at this program.” – Jenny

I had an exhausting and eye-opening first week. I had just gotten by the first week of moving away from home, living on my own with housemates for the first time, being away from family, Jj and Jax for the first time. It was a time of major adjustment.

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The face I miss the most!
It’s still just the second month, but I have to say that I’ve gradually adapted. I’ve always been very adaptable in the work setting, but have never had to alter my living habits for the sake of others or strangers, basically. I am messy, but I am very clean and chore-oriented. Wait, chore-oriented? I’ve never used that phrase in my whole entire life and never had to up until now. I should really call my mom up right now and thank her for that dreadful chore schedule she gave me and my big sis when we were young. Doing chores is one of the very few childhood memories I have. I can probably only remember 10 things about my childhood and don’t get me wrong, a majority of them are great. I always say I wouldn’t trade or change a thing about my childhood for anything in the world. That’s how joyful and valuable my childhood is to me. I never gave a thought of appreciation for that chore schedule, but now I need to thank my mom immensely.

The truth is I’m completely living out of my comfort zone. Even though the condo feels like home and I have more than half of everything I own here with me, I feel odd on most days and rightfully so. It makes sense when the math is done; I’ve been living a certain way with the same people for the last 26 years and now I’m not. So, how am I not living as I normally do?

To start with, I have always loved my daily routine at home. I wake up at least 1.5 hours before work and take Jax to the nearby park for a very long walk if I’m not going to the gym for a morning workout. I head home without saying a word to anyone, pack my lunch and go to work. I’m not a chatty person in the morning. During a busy work day, I’m a get-to-the-point type. I like to have long conversations, too, but only when the time is right. In the morning, I’m juggling mental notes in my head and can’t afford any distractions. Living with housemates for the first time, I had to break this cycle. Small talk, stories over dinner, no “me” time. I love my “me” time. I’m an introvert.

During orientation week, our program director talked to us about the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator. My friend and I took the Myers Briggs test earlier last year and found out that we were both INFJ (Introvert, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging). From this exact experience of living with roommates for the first time ever and just for a couple of weeks; I learned that I wasn’t the extrovert I always thought I was. I am, in fact, an introvert, and in order to live with these true extroverts, I had to schedule substantial “Me” time to properly recoup. Thanks to this article on how to peacefully coexist that was extremely helpful. I learned more about personality types, especially my own, accepted who I was and that it wasn’t wrong to be myself. I didn’t want to be a spoiled, self-centered introvert either. I realized that just because I was out of my comfort zone, it didn’t mean I had to fight to stay in my zone forever. I could step out sometimes.

Though I’ve thought about getting accepted into a dietetic internship for years, I never imagined or planned what my surrounding life would be like during the internship. After looking into it, I learned from current RDNs that it’s not the best year you’ll ever have; {Advice from dietitian Becca Kay}; it’s just something you get through and that it’s just the beginning of the dietitian journey.



11 thoughts on “a day in the life of a chore-oriented, introverted dietetic intern

  1. It all comes down to perspective. If this first year helps you achieve a dream and a career of choice it can be the best year of your life. Most things in life worthwhile come with a “price tag.” If it was easy, everyone would partake. Wishing you all the success possible in your future. I’ll bet Jax is rooting for you as well! 🙂

    • Thank you Dr Colter. I’ve been thinking about your uplifting response and have decided that you’re right. I can steer this experience in a positive direction even if it’ll be very different from the stories I’ve heard so far. Thanks again for the encouragement!

  2. That face ….he is so cute, I too, would be missing his adorable face.
    Your life is hectic, but it will be all worthwhile. Hang in there. This is the start to your future. All the best my friend. x

  3. This was such an appreciated read, since I will be there next year! I am an ENFJ, but barely an E, so I definitely get the need of having to get away and recharge.
    I hope you’ll continue to share as you go along.

  4. Tammy, best of luck in your dietetic internship! I know you’ll do amazing.

    I found so many things in common with you in this one post.:) I’m also a fellow introvert and a huge organization junkie. I don’t know about you, but having a set schedule every single day helps me be efficient as well as sane.

    Can’t wait to see more updates on your dietetic internship!


  5. best of wishes! awesome sharing your daily schedule with us; always been meaning to see a dietitian in order to gain healthy weight.

    – with 💖, from some infp

  6. Wow that’s quite a hectic schedule. At one point, I was running on a similar timeline too, it really is tiring. I wish you luck! I was also motivated to comment because I was surprised that you used iCal in the way that I do too AND I am an INFJ, which I’ve read is one of the rarest MBTI personality types.

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