Diane Tan

Diane Tan uses past health experiences in choosing her major

Diane always knew she wanted to work in a hospital or health care profession. However, being told she was considered malnourished in high school led her to find dietetics.

“I skipped meals because of peer pressure to be thin and did not know that I was not getting sufficient nutrients in my diet,” she said. “I thought I had to be skinny or I wouldn’t have friends.”

After she began having more health problems, losing hair, and getting sick almost every month, she started researching online about nutrition. With the help of her mom, she realized that thin does not necessarily equal healthy and later discovered the career choice of dietetics.

Diane wants to make sure she can help others going through the same situation as she did.

“If my clients know I have been through it too, then they know I’m not just there to instruct them but to actually help them,” she said.

Coming to Iowa State University, Diane knew she would get the education she was looking for.

“The professors are great,” she said. “They go all out to help you, show you leadership opportunities, and push you to step out of your comfort zone.”

Involvement in clubs like Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness (BIEDA) and the Student Dietetic Association (SDA) have also strengthened Diane’s leadership skills and impacted her in an all-around positive way.

“Both clubs really help me,” she said. “You’re surrounded by people who care about your wellbeing. All the volunteering you can do not only helps others but by helping them it helps you.”

She hopes to encourage other students who might struggle with finding the support system they need if they are in this situation.

“A good way is to be around positive people,” she said. “You shouldn’t give into peer pressure.”