May 17, 2017

Mel Gray

As a mature student managing type 1 diabetes as well as my studies, my typical day is a busy one.

Having tested my blood glucose levels and had my breakfast, I leave the house that I own with my husband and travel the couple of miles in order to reach the Llandaff campus.

A healthy breakfast is essential for me!

Which is just one of the things that’s great about living in Cardiff – whilst having everything you need, the city is a compact but cosmopolitan one.

I study human nutrition and dietetics at Cardiff Met and I’m currently in my second year. The course is a 3-year degree, that will hopefully lead towards a job working as a dietitian in the NHS.

The role of a dietitian can be incredibly varied, working in hospital, in industry, private care or sport which is exactly what I love about it. This variation is also reflected in our course, one lesson we might be learning about clinical science and genetics. Whilst the next, we could be cooking up a storm in the kitchen, creating a menu for somebody with a medical condition. Or we might be in the hospital ward simulation suite learning to read medical notes.


Nutrition and dietetics students are as at home in the kitchen as they are in the lab!

Something that really drew me to the course when I was making my decision on where to study was the hands on learning experience that the course provides. Which relates to the other thing that is really exciting about the course, which are the NHS placements we’ll be going on in a few weeks time. Like my course mates, I’m looking forward to the opportunity of consolidating all that we’ve learned so far and putting it into practice.

I always have to make sure I eat a balanced diet.

Managing my diabetes within my daily routine, alongside my sport and studies just takes a bit of planning and preparation. For example, making sure I’ve got food with me throughout the day should I need it. or making sure to get a bite to eat in the canteen if we’ve got a longer block of lectures coming up. But generally I find that it fits in with my day as I go about my studies.

After a full day of lectures, my day doesn’t end there, as it’s off to the indoor athletics track for sprints training on the Cyncoed campus of the university.

Cardiff Met is a great uni for mixing sport and study.

I consider myself in an incredibly fortunate position to have a high performance facility right on my doorstep and have enjoyed being an active member of the athletics team at Cardiff Met for the past 2 years. Even winning a British Universities medal in Sheffield with the team a few weeks ago.

A very proud relay team in Sheffield!

On the days that I’ve got a break in my timetable, I might head to the gym on the Llandaff campus to train instead. But exercise, in addition to being a hobby, is how I relax and recuperate ready for another full day of study, science and sport.

Want to know more about day-to-day life for Cardiff Met students? Check out Psychology student Hanna’s typical day, or what Jason gets up to on Biomedical Sciences.