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Old 08-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #1
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starting to think about colleges

Well im starting to think of colleges i might apply to but should i go with what my parents say and apply for Ivys or go on my own to culinary arts college like the CIA or Le Cordon Bleu. or should i do culinary arts school later on in life?

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Old 08-06-2005, 12:43 PM   #2
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That is great that you are starting to think about college. My advice to you is that you are the only one who can answer the questions you asked. What is it that you want to do with your life? Do you want to be a chef? do you want to be a Lawyer? do you want to do both? Do you want to do something completely different? These are not always things you can figure out ahead of time, but if you do already know what you want then that can help point you in the right direction. Visit schools (lot of them) and see where you think would work for you. You might visit a culinary arts school and decided you would be miserable there, or you might know right away that this is the place for you. Likewise for any other type of school. The bottom line though is that only you can decide what is right for you.
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Old 08-06-2005, 01:00 PM   #3
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I agree GB. That was really good advice.

Good luck Master. I'm sure you'll make the
right choice for YOU.
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Old 08-06-2005, 01:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteraznchefjr
Well im starting to think of colleges i might apply to but should i go with what my parents say and apply for Ivys or go on my own to culinary arts college like the CIA or Le Cordon Bleu. or should i do culinary arts school later on in life?
Having done both (Culinary School and graduating from a 4-year College), I can honestly say that you won't get the same college experience if you go straight to culinary school. You'll have to hit the ground running because the pace will be accelerated since you'll only be in school for a couple of years, and it won't be like college where you can space out your classes, pick and choose, etc. Classes in culinary school will be longer and more intense than many college classes because you'll be doing hands on stuff rather than just studying.

In all honesty, if I had gone to culinary school first, I might not have become a chef. I enjoyed having fun, partying, going out clubbing 3 times a week, etc. while I was getting my BA. I was able to get it all out of my system so that when I finally got serious about what I wanted to do, there was no temptation to go out drinking or clubbing all the time with my friends since I already had already done it so much. I didn't realize that I wanted to be in the food and beverage industry until my 3rd year in college. By then, since I was almost finished anyway, I ended up completing my BA so that I'd have something to fall back on, and then enrolled in culinary school after I graduated. Even then, it took me working under this Chef that really motivated me after I got my culinary degree before I REALLY decided to commit doing what I do. Before that, I think I changed my major about 5 times because I had no idea of what I wanted to do.

But, everyone is different. I know a lot of people who already knew what they wanted to do right out of high school. Some of them ended up going into their original field of interest, but most of them changed their mind at some point during college. I know a lot of people who are doing stuff that isn't even related to what they graduated in. If you already know what you want to do, then great. But don't feel bad if you end up changing your mind later, or if in 3 or 4 years you just don't know. Better you make a decision of what you want to do when you're 25, then make one when you're 17 and regret it later on in life because you realize that you're not happy with your job. It will be much harder to change careers then, especially with other commitments and responsibilities you may have.
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:31 PM   #5
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Keep in mind that you can work on your cooking while at a 4 year college. That will give you a little more experience when you enter culinary school. This is what I do, though I have no intentions of going to culinary school.

The Ivys though, that's a petty tough standard to meet. They really like to see a flawless academic record, as well as lots and lots and lots of extracurriculars. I had a friend that barely got admitted to Yale, and he had a 1590 / 1600 on his SATs. Ivy League schools will demand a ton of time, and you likely won't be able to spend much time on things other than school.

I would go to a well-established 4-year college. I go to Indiana University, and I have got to say that it is one of the best experiences of my life. All sorts of people, cultures, etc. and it's fun to learn. I have room to pursue other interests besides my major as well.
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:26 PM   #6
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I would skip the overpriced ivy schools.

I say stay in state if possible, A cheeper school can be just as good as a more expensive one.

Also note that a big campus with loads of enrollment may not be the best thing for you and a school with a smaller population will be better for you.
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:55 PM   #7
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my parents want me to go to ivys like my sisters its like a demand they want. i call it the stereotypical asian parent with the stereotypical asian kid.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:06 AM   #8
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Consider this.

Attending college and earning a degree will provide you with several tools that will make life easier for you.
  1. A broad-based education that will make you better able to deal with life and all its challenges in any field of endeavor.
  2. You will be more mature after 4 years and have more experience to draw upon in your decision-making processes.
Maturity and experience can only help you in a culinary career. After 4 years, if you decide to be a chef, your decision will be more thoroughly considered and based an a broader experience.

You will also have four years to gain practical kitchen experience while at school.

Also consider that if you already knew in your heart that a culinary career was the only life for you, you wouldn't have started this thread.

All that being said, GB is right, the decision is only yours to make.

I'm reminded of a quote from John Greenleaf Whittier:

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'."


You are in a very fortunate position. You have your whole life ahead of you and your parents' support. Follow your heart.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:22 AM   #9
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You've gotten some great advice here - there is an abundance you can take to culinary school from a 4-year college. And you can work while you are in school - really see what it's about to work in a restaurant environment. If you have the passion you will love it and get that much more experience before jumping in as Ironchef said. It always helps to learn from the bottom up. I was around a few people who went to culinary school right to cooking. I felt, through my experience, I actually knew more than they did. They may have known certain things but experience is a huge factor. That experience of a 4-year college (in state is just as good) will only help you. Maybe you'll end up with your own restaurant - you will need those skills from a 4-year college - if only the skill of discipline.

And remember - nothing is written in stone - if you get 2 years under your belt and just can't stand that you aren't in culinary school you can always go. But there is NO employer that will EVER not take into consideration that you went for the 4-year first. It's like they already know you are more mature and focused on your goal/career.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:56 PM   #10
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If you were to go to the CIA college you can work at one of the many restaurants they have to get some experience.
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