As the new BDA student rep and the beginning of a new academic year, I would like to encourage both new and continuing students to set up their own student dietitian platforms, such as on Instagram. Since beginning studying dietetics in 2017, it soon became very apparent how valued student dietitians are to the wider dietetic community about educating the general public about such a fantastic profession. Please do not feel that you MUST conform and do this; however, I feel that having an RD2B Instagram is a fantastic opportunity to regularly engage with other students and dietitians, by tailoring your account to follow other RD2B’s and dietitians. When I started up my Instagram, I had no idea of the sort of content I wanted to produce or who I even wanted to follow. So I began posting loads of pictures of food. Over time, I realised that I wanted to share more about what I do as a student dietitian, keeping plenty of the food pics but also mixing it up with factual posts, sharing my volunteering experiences, how I spend my free time and how I’ve raised money for charities.
Having my Instagram account has pushed me to develop in confidence and provided me with so many fantastic opportunities. During lockdown, I was delighted to be approached by @nutritionnourishement, who asked me if I would like to be her first guest on her new podcast ‘Journeys’. I was utterly shocked and cringed at the sound of my own voice when replying via voice messages! However, I knew this was too much of a fantastic opportunity to miss, so I went for it!
Following this, I felt much more confident with speaking to new people. I therefore plucked the courage to begin a live Q&A series over the lockdown months, to keep the RD2B community connected with registered dietitians. Overtime, the nerves seemed to fade away! I then also began holding zoom coffee mornings with members from my website www.thedieteticstudent.com. The thought of meeting new people and knowing what to talk about has always been a fear of mine…but we all have something in common… we love dietetics! (Plus every single individual ive met has been lovely)
Then the BDA sent out an email regarding a Student Rep vacancy. At first, I was full of self doubt, thinking ‘I probably wont get it’. But then I thought how I have really enjoyed feeling more connected with the dietetic community and it would be amazing to continue helping students as I have on my website and during our zoom coffee mornings. So I applied for the role and to my surprise, I was elected as BDA Student Representative 2020/2021!
1. Tailor your Instagram to follow dietetic related accounts
- Follow BDA specialist groups and regions!
2. Share recipes- dietitians also eat cake! Have fun with whatever you cook/bake.
- You could show how to make a healthier version of a fast food takeaway dish at home and compare their nutritional profiles!
3. Write book reviews!
Here is a list of some books
- Brain Food (my absolute favourite and really good for first year students!) by Dr Lisa Mosconi
- The Health Gap by Michael Marmot
- Is Butter A Carb? By Rosie Saunt and Helen West
- Why We Eat (Too Much) by Dr Andrew Jenkinson
- Just Eat It by Laura Thomas PhD
- The Psychobiotic Revolution by Scott Anderson, John Cryan and Ted Dinan
- The Insta-Food Diet by Pixie Turner
- Gene Eating by Giles Yeo
4. Write about a specific topic. This could be anything you’re interested to learn more about! It could co-incide with specific days, weeks or months such as Mental Health Awareness Week and Sustainable September! Attended a specific course? Share what you have learnt! Remember to use references when citing literature.
5. Undertake activities and share them on your Instagram! This could be for charity such as Red January, in which you run every day in January to raise money for Mind and promote looking after your own mental health.
6. Share what you get up to as an RD2B student in University or at home. Are you completing your dissertation? Share the steps involved! Running a stall at the nutrition fair? Let everyone know what its all about!
7. Share fun and varied ways to exercise! Whether this be cycling, swimming attending a yoga class or walking the dog. You could always join a new class and write about how it makes you feel.
8. Engage in opportunities which you may not normally. I have been partaking in Meat Free Monday for a few months now, with thanks to the available resources on the BDA website, I have read about how important it is to make sustainable swaps! Other options include trialling some ONS and writing a review. Seek opportunities!
9. Get involved in volunteering opportunities and share what you get up to! Remember to gain permission to take photographs.
10. Be You! If you feel comfortable, share an image of yourself! You could also do ten facts about yourself so your followers can get to know you.