Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Why changing path is frightening but sometimes necessary

Why changing path is frightening but sometimes necessary

I come from another country, another culture, another kind of studies. Now I am 35, and it took me more than a decade and two long-term illnesses (type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto thyroiditis) to change my path.

Honestly, I would like to get rid at least of diabetes, but I am happier than I was before.

I come from a dream holiday island in Italy: Sardinia. I am proud of my food and of the delightful sea, and I miss the warm weather, but there are things that I have missed all my life: an ongoing job, the possibility to continue my studies, and by consequence, the chance to build my life.

A beach in Sardinia

I was studying languages in Cagliari but, because of the lack of an ongoing job to keep studying, and sometimes low motivation, I lost a lot of time, and I arrived at 33. At 30, my diagnosis of diabetes came, and people said that I could not travel anymore, that I couldn’t move to another country, and I couldn’t even eat a sweet.

Here I am, living in another country. I am not travelling but it’s due to the pandemic, while I have a job, and I am studying. Ah, and I eat whatever I want!

My favourite sweet: Tiramis├╣

One of the best decisions is that, as I was already studying things about food for my own health, I could kill two birds with one stone, and I decided to study Food and Nutrition instead of languages for a future career. I aim to become a dietician, but I want to be open to other possibilities that help people stay well with healthy food.

I arrived in Wolverhampton in 2017 on a very snowy day to start work as an au-pair and have a look around to see what I could do. The only indubitable thing is that I wanted a degree. I came back to Italy for personal reasons in 2018.

I soon regretted that decision, and I returned in 2019, working again as an au-pair, but this time in Birmingham. I had to find another job during the pandemic as the au-pair job was incompatible with the University.

I finally arrived at University College Birmingham, and when I started to study Food and Nutrition, I understood that it really was my way. Recently, speaking with an old friend, he told me that when we met for the first time at a German course (I think it was 2011), one of my favourite subjects was food and healthy eating, and I smiled because I understood that I had been stubborn and this probably stopped my personal growth.

My life has changed quite a lot: I moved from my country, I am far from my lovely pocket grandma (4.6 feet), I miss my fluffy cats, and I changed my studies. But here, I found the opportunity to start building my life even if I am 35, having a fulfilling life and affording my hobbies. My life is not perfect, but I am really happy.

Why do I write that? Because I want to tell you not to be afraid of changes, and to be stubborn but in the right way.

Sometimes being too stubborn brings you here!

Sometimes we have to give up the old path, but we have to be determined about being independent, do the things we like even if people say we shouldn’t (because our life is ours, not theirs) and, even if it might sound banal, we are all in charge of our own destinies.

I wish you good luck with your studies, believe in yourself and don’t forget to eat healthily!

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