Student Name: Emily Macdonald

Course: Nutrition

Hometown: Inverness, Scotland

Year of Course: 3

About you

Tell us a little about yourself such as your hobbies/interests that are related or not related to your course of study

My hobbies are very much related to my course, I enjoy exercising in the gym regularly and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I am part of the university badminton society so play that weekly, I am also part of the uniboob society, which is a society that raises funds and awareness for breast cancer- the events for this are often fun and I enjoy socializing with the girls in my team. Aside from my course, which I love and enjoy learning about, I also have a passion for learning about diabetes. I spend a lot of my time reading books and following online forums related to diabetes. I am in the process of organising a day in QMU to raise funds for Diabetes UK and awareness of diabetes.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

I chose this course because in school my favourite subjects were biology and home economics, I took both as a higher and I enjoyed learning about dietary targets and the relationship between nutrients and the body, as well as interrelationships between micronutrients and macronutrients. Dietary diseases have always been an interest of mine and I’ve always enjoyed attending the gym and I knew that I wanted to have a career in this area so nutrition was a subject which seemed appropriate for me to study.

I liked QMU the second I arrived for my visit to the open day, it’s a relatively small university and I found this comforting. Moving away from home to another city, in my case- country in some cases, is a very daunting thing to do and I think it’s important to feel comfortable in your new environment in order to settle in. I felt comfortable as soon as I was in QMU so I worked to reach my exam conditions with the goal of getting into the nutrition course here at QMU.  

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I am from Scotland and I love it here, I chose Edinburgh because it’s a beautiful city with plenty of things to do, so much history, and I love the diversity here - from the people you meet to the quirky cafes to the buzzing nightlife.

Living Away from Home

If you are living in halls what’s the best part?

I live in the city center now but I lived in halls in first year, my favorite thing about living in halls was the independence. The halls are great because they are on campus so are extremely convenient for going to lectures, there’s also a lot of parties and opportunities to meet new people and make new friends which was always fun.I’ve been in Edinburgh for almost 3 years now so it’s impossible for me to choose one best experience! Most of my time here has been fantastic.

If you are NOT living at home (either in halls or independent flat), what are the top three items that you packed that you wouldn’t be without?

The top 3 items that I wouldn’t be without are:

  1. My phone (to keep in touch with people from home as well as people here, for my alarm to wake me up in the morning, my calendar as it uses ical and tells me when and where my lectures are, and Spotify for my music for the gym)
  2. My laptop (for studying)
  3. My make up bag

Life in Edinburgh – what’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

There are some ‘gems’ that are definitely worth visiting/ doing in and around Edinburgh: The grass market- Full of cute cafes and quirky pubs.The castle- Haven’t been in because it’s expensive but it’s a lovely walk up the royal mile and sight seeing around the castle. The dungeons- scary but fun.Princes street- great for shopping and for admiring the views.The Edinburgh festival- Runs the whole of August, I was working in CC Blooms (a gay bar, lots of fun) for the summer and August was crazy so I only got to see one show at the festival but it looks amazing and should definitely be experienced!

  • Christmas market - beautiful, so much festive fun, 100% must do!
  • Mary Kings Close - scary and historical.
  • Carlton Hill - My personal favorite study spot coming up to the April exams, perfect place to watch the fireworks in November, and in my opinion the best place to go for a walk and see the whole of Edinburgh lit up at night (not alone though)
  • The Meadows - Beautiful in summer to chill and have a picnic or a cider.
  • St Lucas- a small ice cream café in Musselburgh, cute place and amazing treats.
"I enjoy my modules this year as they are very much applied to my interests, first and second year have much broader modules so you obtain a wide range of knowledge about the biochemistry of the body, the physiology, the psychology."
Emily Macdonald

The Course

Did you attend an Open Day? If so was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you?

Yes I attended an open day; the friendly staff helped me make up my mind. Douglas McBean did a talk which I attended and he is still one of my favorite lecturers. The lecturers at QMU have all been fantastic in my experience, they are very helpful but they tend to be able to have a laugh with you as well. The university as a whole is lovely and I got that vibe on my visit day.

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

I have enjoyed most aspects of my course; I particularly enjoyed the labs in first and second year. I enjoy my modules this year as they are very much applied to my interests, first and second year have much broader modules so you obtain a wide range of knowledge about the biochemistry of the body, the physiology, the psychology. I have learnt a great deal about the way the body works and what can go wrong in the normal functioning of the body, the results of this, the symptoms, and how to treat through lifestyle interventions and pharmacological interventions. I also learnt the basics of diabetes, which I found interesting, then my dad was diagnosed and I met who boyfriend who is type 1. All of this sparked my interest to learn as much as possible and help with cure and prevention.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

My advice for students interested in this course would be that a personal passion for health and wellbeing is pretty much essential. When I say I study nutrition the first thing people say is, “oh like what food to eat and stuff?” and it’s definitely not as simple as that. Nutrition is made up of mainly science modules, it’s a seriously interesting course and I’d highly recommend it but prospective students should be aware that it involves a lot of pharmacology, physiology, chemistry, and biology modules rather than simply “this is what to eat and what not to eat.”

Any future plans after graduation?

My plans after graduation are firstly to go traveling and see the world and then I’m unsure what ill do but I’ve thought about taking a masters in diabetes.

Life as a Student at QMU

Are you a member of a QMU club or society? If so, what was the reason behind your choice and what do you enjoy most about it?

Yes - I'm in the  Uniboob team as I wanted to do something that makes a difference, if we can even inspire one person to check their breasts and catch breast cancer in the early stages then great. Badminton- as I wanted to join a sport society and I’m frightened of getting hit in the face with a ball so badminton seemed like the safest option, its fun too. Being part of a society is a great way to meet new people and get involved, I think it’s a good idea to be a part of at least one society.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

My top tip would be to enjoy it and make the most of it! Get involved with the societies, meet new people, go on team nights out, discover cool places in the city, be spontaneous and have fun.

 

Story published 2016-2017