Charger Blogger Discusses Choosing Her Major and Finding Her Purpose
Initially a forensic science major, Beatrice Glaviano ’26 decided to take her studies and her career plans in a different direction. Now a nutrition sciences major, she’s found something that, she believes, is a better fit – and something she’s passionate about.
December 05, 2023
By Beatrice Glaviano ’26
Author, sipping a cup of piping hot espresso her dad handed her: “Why hello there; good morning. Welcome to article 22: Why Nutrition? Feel free to take a seat and grab your favorite hot drink: it’s gonna get heartwarming in here.”
“Nutrition isn’t just about eating, it’s about learning to live.”Patricia Comptton
Choosing nutrition as a major was never part of the plan, despite how engrossed in it I am. Originally, I was designated for forensic science – the reason why I ended up at the University in the first place. While I didn’t dislike forensics, exactly, it didn’t quite fit what I was looking for.
Author sighs, looking at the camera: “Fine, I lied: I hated it.”
To be clear, I don’t dislike the topic or profession: we do need forensic sciences professionals in our criminal justice system to ensure that people – dead or alive – are given justice using these scientific methods. Because of this, I have a high respect for those going into the field. However, in my own case, the subject wasn’t for me. It wasn’t because it was bloody or that Jeffrey Dahmer’s fridge was actually pretty well-kept, but it was because I came to a rather sudden realization:
If I wanted to save lives, why was I dedicating my life to work on those already passed?
There is only so much you can learn from a cadaver in comparison to a living, breathing human being. One of the biggest things they teach you in forensics is that time is always of the essence as your data will decompose. In medicine, however, you get to work with data that’s alive and that can talk to you. That’s what really got the gears turning, as well as the fact that I hated going to the class because, frankly, I was bored.
...I also got a 65 on my midterm and that in itself was the wakeup call to thinking, “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life” right then and there.
So how does one go from wanting to study dead bodies to nutritional sciences? Not many connections between those two, being real honest with you.
Well, it came down to what I was really passionate about. Unlike forensics, I could talk about nutrition all day. I liked reading articles about the subject or watching documentaries about food and what it meant to people, either culturally, socially, or as something they just enjoyed preparing; I was never as engrossed with forensics as I was about this.
Now, I realize that nutrition isn’t exactly the most popular conversation topic of all time. Heck, it probably bored anyone who had to take it in junior high. On the flip side, though, nutrition is something that we engage in every single day of our lives. Going through the recovery process, and even after recovery, I discovered how important nutrition really is to us not only as a physiological being, but as human beings. Learning and understanding how food impacts us on a physiological, mental, social, emotional, and psychological level was fascinating for me, and I really wanted to understand why some individuals let food define their lives either in a positive or negative way while others couldn’t care less. There also comes the healing of proper nutrition as well: understanding how nutrients impact our organs, cell turnover, and organ system as a whole can open new doors to unlocking peak health for ourselves. More interestingly, actually, there is research currently being conducted in nutrigenomics – the study of how nutrition impacts gene expression – and how it may be used to prevent diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. Pretty cool, right?
That whole paragraph – as well as my microplastic research, lol – is how I remind myself that I am studying something I am genuinely passionate about. Like I said, nutrition is small in the grand scheme of things, but so is the drop that starts a ripple in water. The effects of nutrition are progressive, and depending on one’s choices in terms of nutritional quality, life could be so different for so many people. Of course, it’s not only the quality of the food they’re eating; it’s the social media they’re consuming or what messages they tell themselves. I will never not stress how important it is to recognize nutrition in other areas of one’s life outside of food, and how all these areas can be used to positively impact a life.
Again: this is my jam, and I just need a slice of toast to go with it. [Author laughs at another horrible dad joke]
Dudes, I could honestly talk about this for possibly forever. Please know that I’m giving you the cheesiest, most eye-sparkling grin of all time through this screen, and I really hope that you feel the same pure joy when it comes to learning about your major. This is what I want to be talking about, researching, and just doing with the rest of my life and as the world leans into nutrition more than ever before, I feel so called and privileged to be able to learn how to help these individuals discover what nutrition works best for them.
Nutrition, for me, is as much about getting my veggies in as much as it is laughing with friends over a slightly melted ice cream cake. Nutrition tells me that I need to fuel my body in order to be able to go to the gym, fulfill my academics, and work hard in my professional life. And, good ol’ nutrition, tells me it’s okay for your body and preferences to grow because what we need to grow will change throughout our lives, and it’s a very human thing.
Nutrition taught me that it’s okay to nourish myself without another person in mind.
Nutrition taught me flexibility, and how much power we have over things we have in life. Similarly, it taught me when to let go. Rules for me have always been more like guidelines, lol. Once you get a process down, work with it as if it’s clay: Do you think everyone makes pottery the same way? Of course not. Our uniqueness presents differently, and so do our bodies with our needs.
In realizing all of this, nutrition gave me my life back, and I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to helping others get theirs back too. How exciting is it that I get to do this for the rest of my life? Like. Wow. I get to help people with the things that I’ve learned that I genuinely love? How amazing is that?
I really do wish all of you feel the same about what you’re learning because it’s such a blissful feeling. I know that university is a difficult process, especially when it comes to things that you have to do, even if you know that you’re not particularly good at them.
For example, I love biology. I would die for biology because it’s remarkable, it’s transformative, and it’s life in and of itself. Yet, biology can’t exist without chemistry – a subject that I am not the best in. And I’ve realized that it’s because of the fact that I am neither good at it nor do I enjoy it that I always push it off. So, lately, I’ve been trying to force myself to like it through appreciation of its existence. Without organic compounds, literally nothing would exist except water and air (air is made of many things, but it’s mostly nitrogen and other small-ish percentages of compounds. If it was mostly oxygen, the earth would’ve detonated the moment cavemen figured fire out). So, if I love biology, I must – begrudgingly – have some sort of amiability towards chemistry.
Anyhow, I know that the end of the semester – AKA finals season – is on the way. During this time, I’d allow yourselves to explore your passions, both academic and personal. Lately, I’ve been drawing a lot more, and it’s been really nice to combat the burnout. On that topic, actually, please make sure to not overstudy because that will do more harm than good in the end. At the end of the day, the point of college is not only to give you a good education, but it’s to help you become the person who you want to be in the best of ways. If you focus everyday on being better than you were yesterday, so much can happen even if it’s a small change. I know finals season can be terrifying – especially for new students (Hi, first-years) – for many of us, but I encourage all of you to take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out:
You are exactly where you’re meant to be. If things feel stagnant, this is a period of which you need to heal as the next stage of your life isn’t meant to include that negativity. If things feel as though they’re going too fast, ground and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. You were a kid at one point, too. So, no matter how or what you’re feeling, you can do it. Break it down into digestible parts, and get ‘er done because I know you can.
You have more fight in you than you think. I promise.
With that, I hope everyone is having a fantastic week and had a restful Thanksgiving break. It’s Christmastime, baby, and things can only look up from here. I’ll see you in the next one, folks. Please feel free to reach out to me at BGlav1@unh.newhaven.edu or my personal email, email@example.com regarding questions, blog ideas, or commentary.
Peace, love, and all the peanut butter,