Missouri State University

Alix Opfer

  • Major: Dietetics
  • Hometown: Springfield, Missouri

A key to the future

"Even if it's a small change, we can change the world."  

On her first day of practice as a Soccer Bear, Alix Opfer experienced a team rite of passage: the fitness test. "It's a set standard," she said. "You have a certain time you have to meet, and it shows if you've been doing your fitness work all summer."

"I'm going to miss being in lectures, hearing information for the first time and having that 'a ha' moment."  

A healthy interest   

As an athlete, Alix had always valued healthy living, but she didn't know it would become her career. She took a nutrition course as part of her general education course work, and something clicked. 

During a car ride with her mother, Alix remembered that "I was reading a nutrition label, and I was like, ‘Mom, look at what’s in this!'" 

Her mother recognized Alix's innate understanding of nutrition and encouraged her to pursue this interest, which led Alix to the dietetics major

She knew she had made the right decision "when I started studying and realized I didn't feel like I was studying. I was just retaining information I needed to know for my future."

'Much more to life' 

Balancing the demands of the classroom and the soccer field sometimes felt overwhelming. Alix relied on the support of her family, teammates and classmates to pull her through moments of doubt or disappointment, like losing the last game she played as a Soccer Bear. "It was tough. We had tears and hugs. But then I looked up in the stands and I had 15 family members there," she said. "There's always much more to life."  

While Alix is planning for a career as a sports dietitian, she's learned to leave room for her plans to evolve, and she's glad her field offers a diverse range of fulfilling career paths. 

“My dietetics teachers emphasize that we are the key to the future,” she said. “Small healthy tips that we can give can spread. Making one person lead a healthier life can help to change the future as a whole.”