Christina’s Story – A Food and Nutrition Degree from La Trobe University

After dropping out of university once before, Christina is hitting the books again, having found a genuine passion for food and nutrition.

Like many girls in childhood, Christina’s only plan for the future was to await a charming prince. “I don’t remember having any major goals for a career” Christina laughs, “So when [a prince] didn’t happen, I thought right, I’ll have to find something to do with my life”. Soon after high school, Christina enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree, but found that it wasn’t the right fit for her at the time. “I think I was too young to want to study. I just wanted to go out with friends” Christina admits.

As an adult, Christina went through a rough patch where she admits to being unhappy – her health and weight being part of the problem. While browsing Facebook, she came across a health and fitness challenge, and decided to put herself to the test. “I changed my lifestyle and it made me happy, so I want to be able to help people do the same.” Her positive results inspired her to study La Trobe University’s Bachelor of Food and Nutrition, online though OUA.

food-and-nutrition-student-christina-cummings
Christina - Studied Food and Nutrition with La Trobe University, through Open Universities Australia.

At first, the thought of online study made Christina feel anxious, but she saw it as her only suitable option. Currently, she works full time at Tatts Lotteries, “making people happy for a living”, as she describes her role. “I can’t afford to drop to part-time work – I live alone paying a mortgage, so I need the income” she says. Christina decided on OUA as a perfect study option, and found enrolling easy with the help of a student advisor, who set her up for the current and following semesters.

Christina was able to settle into the online learning environment quite quickly. “They make it pretty straightforward – each week is a new module, and you basically just follow the steps through the modules” she explains. She has found that she prefers online study, not only because she’s able to set her own hours, but also because admittedly, she’s quite shy. “I find it easier to interact with people online than in-person a lot of the time… makes me sound pretty anti-social” she laughs. Christina and her fellow food and nutrition students set up a private Facebook group, which she found to be a great platform for more casual discussion, and a source of reassurance. “Someone posted the other day that their brain was about to explode from all the chemistry, and I was like, I’m not alone!”

“I changed my lifestyle and it made me happy, so I want to be able to help people do the same.”

Christina hopes to be finished in a few years, depending on how busy her life gets. At the moment, she’s studying 2 units at a time, but may drop to 1 when faced with more difficult subjects like chemistry. “I like being able to have that flexibility to drop or pick-up extra subjects when I can” she says. Christina is considering further study in Dietetics, but for now, she’s got her eyes on the Bachelor degree, and is determined to put on a graduation cap this time around.


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