I remember my senior year of high school when everyone was starting to pick their college and choose their majors. I had a lot of friends who wanted to be doctors, some that were getting into Politics, some that wanted to go into Psychology, and others didn’t know what they wanted to do yet and decided to just be Undecided for the moment.
As for me, I realized by my junior year of high school that I wanted to do something with food.
As a kid, I’ve always loved eating, especially sweets. Cakes, flan, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate, candy, I loved them all. There wasn’t a sweet I met that I didn’t like. (Except maybe carrot cake, but that’s because cake isn’t meant to taste like a vegetable, no matter how sweet it is.) I even liked cooking as a kid. I’d help my mom out in the kitchen from time to time. But I especially loved helping out when my mom baked (mostly because, I’ll admit, I looked forward to licking the spoon after she mixed the cake batter). But as I got older and started baking by myself, my mom made an offhand comment to me about considering it as a career. And then it hit me: why not?
At first, I always thought I’d study English and become an author. I enjoyed writing as a hobby and thought about making it into a career, but I always felt that I wasn’t good enough to make it as an author. I could never stick with any of the “novels” I worked on throughout my time writing. I then thought about going into Journalism as I was a part of my high school’s Journalism class for all four years, and even one of the Editor-in-Chiefs for my last two years.
But then I started asking myself, would I really enjoy that kind of job? Because I’m the type of person who wants to enjoy the work I do. If I hate what I’m doing, I’m not going to feel motivated to do it, let alone do it well. It was about then that I decided that food was definitely the way to go for me.
As for what I wanted to do with food exactly, I wasn’t sure. But by my junior year, I started getting more involved with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club at my high school. When I became an officer of FBLA, I was very involved with the club, which in turn exposed me to what business was actually like, and I found that business was actually pretty interesting and that I wouldn’t mind running my own business.
So I started looking into culinary and business degrees and the types of jobs I could get with that. I looked at many culinary schools, such as the Art Institutes, Le Cordon Bleu, and the Culinary Institute of America, and the degrees they offered. I didn’t find the perfect match though, until I found Johnson and Wales University. They met many of criteria I was looking for in a college: private, small, decent tuition, and good financial aid prospects. They’re also a well-known culinary school, and they offered various degrees that highly interested me that I never even saw at the other schools. J&W was just what I was looking for. So I applied to their Baking and Pastry program with a concentration in Food Service Entrepreneurship and was accepted! Unfortunately, by the time I applied, the Baking and Pastry program was full so I chose to defer my enrollment until next fall.
So that’s why I’m at community college right now, working on getting my general education classes out of the way so I can transfer with as many credits as possible by next fall, and I’m hoping that by the time I graduate from J&W, I can travel and work abroad, gather experience by studying different cultural confectioneries, and hopefully open up my own restaurant or work in some high class, snazzy hotel, like the Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons. I might even stay at J&W and work towards a masters degree.
Wherever I end up going, I just hope the food is good because I’m always pretty hungry and craving something sweet!
Photo courtesy of US Army Africa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).