Hi everyone I'm sort of stuck in a dilemma and I was wondering if you guys could offer me some advice.
To begin with, I'll tell you a bit about myself so that you can get to know me better. I am currently 17 years old and in my last semester of high school and i live in southern california. I've been on this lifestyle for about 1 month now and I plan on sticking with it. I come from a traditional Chinese family so my past diet was not full of proccessed unhealthy S.A.D. foods. However, I've had my fair share of calorie restriction(about 1400-1500 per day) and disordered eating thoughts(not severe). I decided to pursue this lifestyle because I was so fed up with calorie restricting and falling into binge cycles. I also wanted to do it for my long term health. I'm considered a "normal" weight since i am currently 120(subject to change) and 5"4. I am fairly active since I am the captain of my high school swim team. During the off season though i usually do about 1 hour of exercise (pilates and/or strength training daily) so I believe i'm a bit sedentary since I'm currently in school.
Anyhow, enough rambling about myself. My main concern is college and future career options. I originally intended on attending U.C. Davis and studying Nutrition and Dietetics to become a registered dietitian and consult with others about weight management and health because i used to be overweight as a child and after my own personal weight loss journey, I discovered my passion for health and fitness. however, now that I am a HCLF Vegan, i'm uncomfortable with the fact that whatever i'll be learning in school will completely contradict and go against everything I believe in and learned from this community/lifestyle. I don't want to tell others to go consume animal products because i know that i certainly would not do so myself.
As a backup plan though, I could also change my major to Plant Science/Horticulture because i've always loved plants/gardening and farming ever since I was a child and I love to work outdoors caring for plants. I dream of working in a greenhouse/ nursery or farm and being outside with nature. However, i did some research and it turns out that I don't need a college education for this career path so i'm kinda confused.
I'm also interested in becoming a Fitness Instructor, specifically a Pilates instructor at a Gym(like Cassey Ho from Blogilates) and i also found out that i don't need a college degree for this, only certification. I could also become a lifeguard and some of my swim friends are lifeguards and they always try to convince me to become one since they say i'm such a good swimmer.
I'm just completely frazzled and confused at this point because there are so many options and i don't know what to choose. I have many passions and hobbies that i'm interested in such as gardening, swimming, health, fitness, etc, but i'm not sure of any careers or jobs i could find in those fields. It's sort of daunting and initimidating because all the adults at school are pressuring us to start figuring out what we want to do with our lives and choose something that we'll stick to.
Coming from a strict asian family i'm pretty much expected, if not required to get a college education becaue my parents have extremely high expectations. I come from a low inocme family so if i do attend college, financial aid/grants will cover a majority, if not all of my tuition and fees. I've already applied to 4 U.C Campuses and 4 C.S.U.'s and i don't really think i'll have a problem with getting accepted since my SAT/ACT scores were decent and I'm Rank #3 in my graduating class with a current weighted High school G.P.A. of 4.12 (4.26 U.C. GPA)
I just want to find a career/job that i'll enjoy doing and look forward to going to work everyday. I'm not materilistic and i do not obsess over money like my parents do. As long as i can make enough money to provide myself with enough fruit/carbs and shelter, I'm fine. Money isn't a focal point here. I really just want to live a simple life and enjoy it.
Long story short, should i continue with my original plan of studying nutrition science in college? I've read some threads here how it's not worth it because what you learn will completely go against everything we believe in.And i know college and further education is important but what if my dream job doesn't require extensive college education like becoming a fitness instructor/lifeguard/ or working with plants/crops?
I don't know what to do at this point, I tend to live in the moment rather than thinking to far ahead, but i don't want to make a decision that i'll regret later on. I thank you guys for taking time to read through this and I'll appreciate any advice that you guys have.
I'm 21 and went to a four year university for a semester. That was an AWFUL decision. I say if you're going to school, make sure the community AND school are a good fit. It's probably not smart to go to a four year school from the get go. I'd go to a community college first. Make sure the first two years you have a FULL ride. Which it sounds like you would. As little debt as possible is the best. Being a lifeguard would probably give you a little money, if you live simply.
Ultimately it's up to you. I don't think studying nutrition is the smartest thing. It will be all about SAD. I'm still trying to find my way too, so I'm no expert. Just wanted to chime in :)