By Katie Porter
In her free time, Christina Duong browses Pinterest and keeps up with the Kardashians.
She also wakes up at 4 a.m. every day to hit the gym for spin and yoga. Health is important to her. After all, it is her job.
The recent graduate uses her relatability as an advantage with the students she helps as the health educator at Santa Ana College’s Health and Wellness Center.
“I know exactly what they’re going through,” the 25-year-old says.
Duong left med school at UCI after two weeks because competition between students was cutthroat. She couldn’t even trust her lab partner.
“I was like ‘this is not for me’. I’m a people person. Working with people is the core element of public health,” Duong said.
Switching to a public health policy major, Duong then got her master’s degree at CSU Long Beach.
She tries to be realistic, saying she doesn’t tell students not to have sex, smoke or drink.
“My point of view is, no one is a saint. I’m really just here to help students make better, smarter choices,” Duong said.
For example, in her diet and nutrition counseling, she wouldn’t promote giving up soda.
“I’m like just drink diet soda! I’m all about substitutions,” Duong said.
She tries to incorporate that in her life as well. She likes to do experimental cooking, finding recipes online and modifying them to be healthier.
But she’s also human.
Cheat days include pizza, cookies and ice cream. Although she claims she can finish a whole carton alone, she tries not to because she has to fit into a wedding dress in March.