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This is guest blog by BU student Anita, studying BSc (Hons) Nutrition.

I am Anita and I moved to the UK 20 years ago from Finland, wishing to improve my English and get work experience abroad. I have always been interested in nutrition and health, and after working with the elderly in health and social care and having my children, I decided to do a degree in nutrition to expand my knowledge further. I am now in my final year of studying BSc (Hons) Nutrition at Bournemouth University and it is amazing how far I have come and how quickly time has gone!Anita is holding two spoons above a bowl that has food inside it and she is wearing a hygiene mask, hair net and an apron

Highlights for me have been units such as, nutrition in health and disease, nutritional requirements throughout life and I enjoyed practical units on food development and microbiology. Although it was challenging to work in a laboratory to start with, I enjoyed learning new techniques and successfully growing colonies of bacteria. Having guest speakers at lectures and seminars has been great in helping my understanding. Another highlight was doing my 20-day placement at the end of 2nd year, which I completed at Crumbs Project. The placement gave me a real insight into working in a bakery environment and gave me invaluable experience of working alongside individuals with various disabilities. An event in London, called Food Matters, was another great experience during the course as we got to meet many employers from across the nutrition industry and were given great advice on job hunting.

Anita is leaning against a railing with the Thames river behind her and the sun setting to the left of the imageChallenges for me during my studies were my lack of knowledge and understanding of chemistry and biochemistry, but I overcame these obstacles by attending all lectures and seminars, asking lecturers and other students questions, and doing as much independent studying as possible. It was challenging to study online the whole first year and to stay motivated due to the pandemic. Another major challenge for me throughout my studies has been juggling my life and time between studying, working part-time (I have a job in health and social care and a job pet sitting) and looking after my family. My organisational and prioritising skills have been essential in the last two and half years! I often study in the evenings when it is quiet in my household and schedule time in my diary for studying. Support from my family, friends and fellow students has helped me tremendously during my studies, especially during times of stress, pressure, and deadlines. Reading, exercise and being out in nature have been useful ways for me to destress and be mindful.Five ceramic pots containing a brown dessert sit on top of a metal tray

During the nutrition course, I have learnt about evidence-based nutrition, recommendations and how to be more critical when viewing information. The nutrition lecturers have been lovely and helpful throughout my studies. There are many areas within nutrition that I am interested in such as, nutritional requirements in pregnancy, children, and the elderly. Gut microbiology, weight management and eating behaviours are also close to my heart so, in the future I would love a career helping others to change their dietary patterns and to overcome their challenges in life.

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