So you didn’t match.
It’s match day, you’ve logged onto D&D and something’s not right. You don’t see a match, you refresh your page, it has to be a mistake. Refresh, same result. Let’s take a deep breath!
So you didn’t match to a program for the dietetic internship. I’ve been there. It’s not a great feeling, a pit quickly forms at the base of your stomach and immediately you’re filled with many emotions of self doubt and self loathing. I want you to take a few deep breaths and know that you are not alone. You are not the first or the last to have been in this moment, to help you feel empowered during this moment of disappointment I’ve come up with a few tips to help you overcome your match day blues.
- Let it out
Emotions are raw and ready to burst. Let them out, in whatever way it wants to come out. Maybe you want to scream, laugh, stare into space, or cry (as an empath I chose the last two). Allow these feelings to leave your body and then practice some breathing. This helps your body know that you’re okay and doesn’t force the stress system to cycle.
2. Treat yourself
You’ve gotten all the emotions out now what? Now take a moment to do something kind for yourself. You have to realize that though you didn’t match you invested a huge chunk time for this round not even including the amount of time you dedicated on your degree. It’s overwhelming to your mind and body to process all this information and feel like you failed. You didn’t fail, this is just a setback! So treat yourself, you made it this far so do something nice, drink a glass of champagne (from the bottle you had chilling when you thought you were about to get matched), a delicious dinner, a night out. Whatever it is, you deserve it!
3. Contact every professional you know
If you’re lucky, people outside of your immediate family have been supporting you and cheering you throughout this process. After you match day it’s important to let them know that you didn’t match. Especially the professionals that wrote your letters of recommendation. They invested in you and since they are in the world of nutrition they may be able to offer you some words of encouragement or resources that you are not privy to.
4. Apply for a second round
There’s a second round, apply for it! You never know what could happen. For most second round applications all you have to do is fill out a form and all your info from DICAS gets sent over, very easy!
5. Contact the DPD and ask for feedback
Remember the programs you ranked, reach out to them. Not that day but a few days or a week later. Ask them for specific feedback about your application. Keep it short and professional. IF you’re lucky they’ll give you kind feedback that can help you in the next round or the next cycle.
Now you’ve got some tips to hit the ground running! So get to work and trust yourself. Check out some of our Match Day resources to help you get a jumpstart on life after not matching.
Keep reading below for some bonus tips from other RDs and RD2Bes that have been there, myself included:
A word from me: Last word, have faith and remain optimistic. This is just the beginning of your journey as you work to become an RD, the road is long so have patience and trust yourself. I never matched to a program through D&D, both times it was heart breaking but each time I had a community around me that helped pick me up and push me forward. Find your community and sigue pa lante!
A word from Dish with Dina: “I think it’s important for all of the applicants not to feel “less than” if they don’t match. I’ve found out that so many of the RDs I look up to right now–or kind of “fan girl” over–didn’t match and/or didn’t pass the RD exam the first, or even second, time. It might feel like the end of the world when it happens to someone; but, it’s a great opportunity to reprioritize, further develop skills, etc., and go back in at a later date as a more desirable candidate.” Find Dina online @dishwithdina and head to this post where we share some resources from Dina herself!
If you found this helpful and would like some more information about what it takes to be an RD or if you want to hear about my match days let me know, I can make a video or another post!
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our RD2BE mailing list where we share tips for surviving life as a nutrition student.
Are you an RD that didn’t match to a program, what are some tips that helped you out, share below to help future RDs.