I will be a newly-entering student into a bakery and pastry program this next monday, and everything I read tells me I'm mad for even considering going into this profession. I admit, I'm slightly nervous. I own a small house and have a very stable, albeit HORRIBLY low-paying, job.
Somehow, none of it deters me. I'm 27, been in college for nearly 10 years, unable to finish a 4-year degree (trying to avoid student loans), and I make--after benefits destroy any semblance of my payback--probably around $7.50-8.50 an hour at my current full-time job. I figure that if I'm living this low to the poverty line now, adapting to low pay won't be as difficult.
My job is quite easy, but very ungratifying. To advance further in the field I'm currently in, I'd have to obtain at least a master's degree, and considering it's taken me 10 years and running to get my bachelors, I don't think that's the best decision. I've always wanted to be a baker, and I think I'm in a good point in my life to make a change.
The program I'm attending is in a small school that holds both ACCSCT and ACF accreditation, and the instructor I've met so far is a CEPC, so at least I know it has some semblance of professionalism. The entire school situation is actually quite comfy, considering most I've read about. I'm going to 4-hour night classes, 4 days a week after my job. The entire certificate/diploma program will take about a year and a half. If I can't find a job after graduation, I have the luxury of holding out as I won't be quitting my full-time job while at school.
I'm not sure if my post really has any point, as it seems I'm just trying to rationalize my decision, but taking out student loans is not something I do with little consideration. I have to take out student loans to go to the school. It's not an expensive school by culinary standards, but it's way more than I can pay for as I go.
To the point of the matter, did anyone who had to give up an easy, but not exactly ideal, lifestyle have reservations about culinary school? It's not as if I'm not passionate about the work. I've always loved to bake, even as a child, and I've read several baking/pastry textbooks cover to cover. I've probably read through 2000 pages on the subject, and I feel no dissatisfaction in the time I've spent doing so, and I'm actually more enthusiastic about memorizing as much theory and learning technique has humanly possible.
Perhaps I'm just being a bit too cautious with my life choices.
Thanks for your time.