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I don't know what to do.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I recently graduated from High School. I am 16 years old, and am planning to attend community college August 2013, but i have a dilemma. I love cooking and baking, but i also love law! I'm thinking of going to community college and majoring in Culinary Arts/Baking and Pastry and getting my associates then transferring to a CSU to major in Criminology and get my Masters. The reason i want to do both is because i want to make well money and i feel like cooking isn't going to give me that especially since i'm going to be paying off loans. I don't know what to do, or what my best path is. Should i forget about culinary arts, or forget about law, or do as i was planning? Can someone please help? Thank You for your time.

post #2 of 6

The difference between Law and Cooking/Baking is that one of them you can engage in recreationally and have that aspect very fulfilled.  If you're engaging in Law recreationally, you're probably on the wrong side of it smiles.gif


As an aside, I've been reading recently about the problems young Lawyers are having getting jobs that will help them pay off their crazy loans.  Something to look into...

Although going to CSU (I'm hopefully correct in assuming Cleveland State), your loans shouldn't be on the astronomical side.

Speaking of school in Cleveland....Tri-C Culinary Arts program appears to me to be a joke.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that their curriculum is strong and well-designed.  But based on every single resume I've read or interview I've had with someone going through or a graduate of CCC....None of them were serious, and none of them knew a thing.  That's not to say that an intelligent person with foodservice experience and a good work ethic couldn't thrive there and walk out with a ton of accumulated knowledge and a good basis for a serious career - I just haven't met any.

I'd recommend ICASI, if anything, around here.

And just in case it got lost in my ramblings, as long as you're following a career that you'll love, leave the culinary arts as more of a hobby and passion.  No need for you to do it professionally in order to feel fulfilled.

post #3 of 6

I think the OP is referring to a California State University.

post #4 of 6

or the op may have the good fortune of going to CSU in Boulder, wonder some are on the 7 year college plan there...SKI U!!

 the only thing i gotta say is that if you're going into the food world to make money, forgetaboutit....not to say you can't make a decent living, but unless you're the next hot chef that's gonna set the world on it's ear with your cooking, you'll at best live comfortably, and it takes time to learn, to move around and up, to figure out what you want, where your passion lays, to find a good kitchen, a good home for yourself......going to law school, well that's your choice as boring as it might seem to some ..don't we have enough lawyers yet? soon we'll have so many lawyers that the lawyers will be only sueing other lawyers! oh wait, they already are! seriously though, not every lawyer gets a great job or one right out of school, or a job they want or a job that makes money, or a job they even like.....guess you could always go into politics with that law degree...god only knows we could use some good ones!  no one can really tell you want to do or how to do it but it seems to me that you have thought this through enough to have a good starting plan....while i think that education is key, as linus says,"there is nothing that can harm a person more than too much formal education". i think that there is nothing like working the real deal...don't just get your feet wet...jump in! see it from the trenches, the bad side, the hard side...see, we just make it look effortless!......this is not for everyone....maybe get yourself a part time job in a bakery or a busy small restaurant or a catering outfit...that usually will separate the culls from the'll know soon enough if it is something you want or are a good fit for......good luck and have fun for pete sake.....this is your life!



oh yeah, meant to add that the best laid plans change...A LOT! ...stay flexible...

Edited by durangojo - 8/10/12 at 9:04am

food is like should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne


food is like should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #5 of 6

For Heaven's sake, go to law school. You'll have a much better chance of paying off student loans as an attorney. Go to culinary arts school, and all it's good for is getting into a field where you make minimum to lousy wages, hopefully enough to live on, and a real quandary when it comes to paying it off. After you pass the bar, you can go to culinary arts school for fun, or just teach yourself by cooking and baking from recipe books.


I'm a professional pastry chef. I wouldn't be able to get by on my own. My husband is the breadwinner and if it wasn't for him, I'd be up the creek without a paddle. It's better to pursue your baking passion by just doing it at home. Doing it professionally is a whole different ball game.

post #6 of 6

I say Go to LAW school.  I am a professional pastry chef and have been one for over 25 years.  There seems to be this romantic vision people put out about the world of Pastry and Baking, lots of shots of people doing fine intricate work with number #2 tips and small pastry brushes and  while it is exciting to do beautiful cullinary work.

 It is also very hard on your feet, on your back and on your body in general.  

You can easily do 10-12 hour days all standing.  You can easily have to work crazy hours.  ( My bakers work from midnight to 8:30 or longer) I work from 5 AM till sometimes 5 PM.  I am a salaried employee and it is expected of me.   I am sometimes here on weekends due to the way pastry ages.

If I do something that is beautiful and artistic, it will go viral,  I will get the compliments but I will also see it added onto the general menu as a" new standard"  thereby making my day even longer.



I own a home, have a decent car but it is only within the last couple of years that this has been possible for me.     I have to produce at a huge level in order to be able to do this.  I work at a University which serves 1200 to 1500  people per meal.  That is not counting the outside catering functions and our other Campuses. Which I also supply.  My Extra help, is usuallty students with no kitchen experience but who need a job on campus. 

You should only do this if you think you can handle the stress, the hours and the fact that it is solid hard work if you get to any type of high volume level, which is what you need to do to make a living.

Better to concentrate on Law, Get your degree, dabble every now and then in pastry Cooking classes and do this for yourself on the side.


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