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Old 01-07-2013, 09:12 AM   #91
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DD wanted to go to culinary school mainly because of Food Network. DH and I could see she really didn't have a passion for culinary arts. Getting her to cook at home was always a battle. I read an article about a year or so ago which said many students that graduate with a culinary degree end up with tremendous student loans and jobs making $10/hour to start. With the ecomony tanking many restaurants were not making it.

DD and I had a heart to heart talk about what she wanted to do. We also had some friends who had worked as restaurant managers talk to her about the reality. When our friend went to work for a food distributor 4 years ago it was the first Mother's Day she had been able to spend with her children. Every Christmas was spent working as well. There is a lot of long hours and late nights.

I asked DD to look into another degree such as Hospitality/Tourism Management or Marketing or something- something to fall back on. She could still go to Culinary school once she got a degree. She is now majoring in Hospitality/Tourism and loves it.

OP-- I suggest you ask your daughter why the sudden change. Also have to talk to some people in the industry. It's not like Food Network. It's hard work and not everyone gets the dream job.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:22 AM   #92
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It's sad when a child doesn't want to live your life.

My dad used so say, and I agree, " the two important things to give your child is life and their freedom".


That said I can understand how it might be hard for many of those parents who make the decision to provide full financial support for their college aged student (and often at some of the most expensive institutions). Is it really any surprise that some of them feel like they should have a say? I mean, hey, it's 'their' money right? How dare they waste their money! Talk about potential for a conflict of interest.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #93
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Second, there is a lot of info out there on how "culinary schools" are a "rip off" because the jobs that are out there when school is done DO NOT pay enough to cover the loans.
I have heard this too. I would definitely try to steer my daughter in another direction if she wanted to go to "culinary school". Also, having worked in an "upscale" restaurant when I was in college, I agree that restaurant work, no matter what type of restaurant or what position, is very demanding and exhausting - it's not a good long-term career in my opinion. Most people ultimately wind up working in another field. The pay is not very good either.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:02 PM   #94
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It's sad when a child doesn't want to live your life.

My dad used so say, and I agree, " the two important things to give your child is life and their freedom".
Out of all the posts I find this one the most offensive. How dare you assume what I want/think! I do not want my child to live my life and i don't want to live hers. Mine was hard enough! I want only the best for her! I want her to follow HER dreams and I will support her 100%.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #95
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That said I can understand how it might be hard for many of those parents who make the decision to provide full financial support for their college aged student (and often at some of the most expensive institutions). Is it really any surprise that some of them feel like they should have a say? I mean, hey, it's 'their' money right? How dare they waste their money! Talk about potential for a conflict of interest.
I am a firm believer that if a parent CAN they should do all they can to help their child financially with school. At least the 1st 4 years - if after that they want to continue their education it should be at their cost. As always we help with books, parking, all the extras.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:50 PM   #96
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I don't post often, but since I went through pretty much what your daughter is talking about, I thought I would share my experiences. I want to mention that I am 42 years old, so my experiences are dated, but from what I have seen, the restaurant world hasn't changed much in the last 25 years.

I was a college graduate who had trouble finding a job in my field (advertising), so I worked a couple of full time jobs while I looked for a "career job" at the same time. One of these jobs was in a gourmet restaurant.

While I was there, I fell in love with the restaurant business and was fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of the executive chef there who taught me to cook. Under his advisement, I applied at and was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York.

I completed the first half of the 2 year program and was at the top of my class, but left after finding out that I would have to take on $24k in student loans to complete it. It just wasn't worth it to me - no one in the restaurant world (at least no one that I knew) cared if you had a paper - they just wanted to see you cook. The school was great - I just wasn't willing to spend that kind of money on a 2 year cooking degree.

In the restaurant world, we worked 6 days a week - 12-16 hour days - during season and often couldn't get enough hours to make rent off-season. You work nights, weekends and holidays. All of them. The culture is full of drugs and drinking - after all, what is open at midnight (which is when you get out of work) except bars?

It is a job - not a career. You burn out and your body cannot continue to work those hours forever. You make no money and the environment is awful - the only reason to do it is because you really love to cook. That being said, it was a wonderful time in my life and I am glad I did it. I love to cook and it was something I was truly good at. But even with my passion and ability, it was a short-term thing.

I now have a wonderful desk job that pays me twice what I would have *ever* made in the food industry and I have benefits and paid time off. All of this came from my 4 year Advertising degree - not the 2 year culinary degree I would have gotten in school.

From my experience, I can only recommend that she finish college before trying culinary school. CIA now has a 4 year program that awards a bachelor's degree, but potential employers of Fortune 500 companies usually don't want to see Culinary Arts as your major. Your daughter will want to have as many opportunities as she can in her future. I hope she doesn't choose to limit them by tying herself to a 2/4 year food degree.

I agree that your daughter should follow her passions and be happy, but I think she really needs to look at and experience the realities of the job and not just how it is portrayed by people outside of the business. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you or help in any way.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:56 PM   #97
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DD19 is home on break from her freshman year. If I was in OP's shoes, I would encourage her to complete the freshman year and use available time to research culinary school.

I have two nieces who went to Johnson and Wales in Providence,RI. One graduated with an associate's degree in hospitality. She had a job at a local hotel and was promoted to a training position which would have sent her over the country.

My other niece graduated with a culinary bachelor's degree. Unfortunately despite graduating near the top of her class she is unable to find a position in a larger restaurant. She curently manages a small pub/bar. Not at all what she imagined for herself.

Having a degree is not a sure shot to success. However there are fields which have more of a guarantee than others. Another niece is a geologist as is her significant other. He is justing finishing his masters and they have been applying for positions which will start in the 6 figures (for each). Apparently that degree is in very high demand and most people with their masters have no problem getting a high salary. Of course, they have to move from MA. Hot spots for jobs are Texas, Ohio, Colorado or Scotland.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:29 PM   #98
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Out of all the posts I find this one the most offensive. How dare you assume what I want/think! I do not want my child to live my life and i don't want to live hers. Mine was hard enough! I want only the best for her! I want her to follow HER dreams and I will support her 100%.
I didn't get that from any of your posts. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to be concerned about your child entering a major that may not provide her a living. It's obvious that you're primary concern is your daughter and her future.

One of the things we told our daughter throughout high school was that college was to equip you to earn a living and that whatever she decided upon, she needed to be sure it was something that would pay in the end. She met quite a few people while in college who were a little arrogant about their majors being their passion rather than being driven by money. That's all fine and good, but you still need to be able to earn a living at the end. Some of the ones she's kept up with are tremendously underemployed, and some are unemployed.

I have a niece who got a B.A. in Business. We encouraged her to go ahead and get her M.B.A because that's really needed in the business world (there are lots of B.A./Business graduates). She was tired of school so now she works as a secretary in a very small insurance office and makes very little with no benefits. If she hadn't lived at home until she recently married, she couldn't have gotten by on her salary (her dad paid her car insurance and kept her on his health insurance). She's been out of school 3 years. She could have been hired just as easily for this job with no college (hired by a friend of the family) and saved her dad a great deal of money.

I don't think that college is for everybody. There are lots of jobs that don't require it. There are some that require vocational training and result in lucrative positions. Many options for choices, but I don't see spending a lot of money supporting a job that is unlikely to result in a student becoming reasonably self-supporting. Get a viable degree and then pursue the cooking (honestly, it doesn't sound like she's shown much of a passion for cooking up until now). JMHO

ETA: Has your daughter ever taken a career interest inventory? I've found them to be remarkably accurate. You might look into that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:37 PM   #99
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I am a firm believer that if a parent CAN they should do all they can to help their child financially with school. At least the 1st 4 years - if after that they want to continue their education it should be at their cost. As always we help with books, parking, all the extras.
I am a firm believer in letting other parents make their own decisions. But I also have opinions and we are on a message board discussing opinions. I believe that all decisions have consequences. Many unintended. Putting 200K up for your kid's college education would make it hard for many to remain unbiased. That's just the way it is.

In our case, we could afford to pay for our kids' educations but we won't be because we feel our children will be more invested in their education if they are responsible for paying for it (been there, done that). They will be over 18, that makes them adults. They will be making decisions for themselves and, IMO, to help them make better decisions, they need to know that "they" will be responsible for what they decide. Not me. And not my pocketbook. I'll certainly give my input if asked but I won't tell them what I think they should do. I figure I've already made my choices...... and they aren't me. I also know that they have the rest of their lives to figure things out so there's no rush to do it perfect the first time (as if there were such a thing). I'm sure they'll make mistakes along the way but they'll learn from them and grow. In other words, they really won't be mistakes. Just part of the process

ETA: also, please don't be so quick to take other's words so personally. We're just making general comments here. Some may apply to you, others won't. I've never understood why people get so upset and take things so personally when people haven't specifically called them out. If "you're" really not doing whatever the poster is talking about, obviously they weren't talking to "you".

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Old 01-07-2013, 04:41 PM   #100
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I am a firm believer that if a parent CAN they should do all they can to help their child financially with school. At least the 1st 4 years - if after that they want to continue their education it should be at their cost. As always we help with books, parking, all the extras.
I agree.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #101
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I am a firm believer in letting other parents make their own decisions. But I also believe that all decisions have consequences. Many unintended. Putting 200K up for your kid's college education would make it hard for many to remain unbiased. That's just the way it is.

In our case, we could afford to pay for our kids' educations but we won't be because we feel our children will be more invested in their education if they are responsible for paying for it (been there, done that). They will be adults. They will be making decisions for themselves and they need to know that they will be responsible for what they decide. Not me. And not my pocketbook. I will certainly give my input when it's asked for but I will not tell them what I think they should do. I figure I've already made my choices...... and they are not me. I also know that they have the rest of their lives to figure things out, there's no rush to do it perfect the first time (as if there were such a thing). I'm sure they'll make mistakes along the way but they'll learn from them and grow. Meaning that they really won't be mistakes. Just part of the process

".
This is probably the best advice.
I was and still am the exact opposite.

My parents paid for my college and it definitely made me take studying seriously. I knew without a doubt that my parents (especially my stepmom/mom) would have taken their size 10 shoes and kick me square in my you know where had I even thought about fooling around in school. now that was me.

I was extremely conscious of the fact that I was lucky to go to an out of state college without an loans and did not have to work except during the summers. My parents had expectations from me and all heck would have broken out had I goofed around and they let me know what those expectations where. But let me also say I grew up in a time when parents were not trying to be kids "friends". My parents were not scared that I would not "talk" to them. They couldn't give a rats pootie whether or not I "talked" to them or not. lol.

I too pay my sons tuition. I have one son who is an Aspergers kid & I see no reason to make his life harder by requiring him to get a job or take out loans because I think it will make them an "Adult". I wish that was some magic answer to make people act like adults.

anyhoo, I do know that there is no magic formula. Like I said previously there are a whole lot of MBA graduates, engineers and professionals just as unemployed as any one else. Maybe the old saying "it's not what you know" but "who you know" is really true.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #102
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I don't see the dropping out as all that big a deal, though what I would encourage is transferring to a local community college rather than leaving higher ed altogether.

Most people these days who successfully parlay an interest in things culinary into a good living do NOT have culinary degrees -- they have business degrees. The only real way to make money in the restaurant business is to own your own store, and for that a business degree is a LOT more important than a culinary degree.

So, what I would suggest (not having read the whole thread) is looking for a f/t kitchen job. If she can find one that has a schedule that allows her to enroll in CC to cover her basic prerequisites, then that would be optimal, but I think that kitchen experience is the acid test, and there is no reason to pay tuition to get it.

If it does turn out that she loves it, then avoid degree programs at private "culinary institutes" at all costs. CC works just as well for learning to cook. Once she has a f/t job with that CC degree, then she can take short courses at the culinary schools to learn specific techniques.

PS: Pizza places are not the same as full-service kitchens, for the most part. Making pizza is very rote, and there is no art to plating it. She needs to work in a restaurant with a full-service menu that changes often in order to see people really work a line under pressure. Hotel kitchens tend to be good for this, and the upside is that they are always open on holidays, which will let her find out if that will be an issue for her.

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:18 PM   #103
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This is probably the best advice.
I was and still am the exact opposite.

My parents paid for my college and it definitely made me take studying seriously. I knew without a doubt that my parents (especially my stepmom/mom) would have taken their size 10 shoes and kick me square in my you know where had I even thought about fooling around in school. now that was me.

I was extremely conscious of the fact that I was lucky to go to an out of state college without an loans and did not have to work except during the summers. My parents had expectations from me and all heck would have broken out had I goofed around and they let me know what those expectations where. But let me also say I grew up in a time when parents were not trying to be kids "friends". My parents were not scared that I would not "talk" to them. They couldn't give a rats pootie whether or not I "talked" to them or not. lol.
My father definately insisted that I take studying seriously as well. Of course, he was 90 minutes away from campus. He would've killed me if he knew what was going on but he didn't. I could ace a test even after only a week of studying (strange, photographic memory) so my GPA was always excellent. But that didn't mean I was getting anything out of it......I spent most of my time socializing and partying. Right after my Junior year my father held tuition over my head because he didn't like the boy I was dating. I think his exact words were "I'm not paying for you to go back up to that college to be with THAT boy". My response? "Fine, I don't need YOUR money!". And the next week I reduced my load to part-time, got myself an apartment (with lots of roommates), got two waitressing jobs and ended up changing my major. Best thing that ever happened to me. Talk about growing up and getting your priorities straight! I ended up with almost a 4.0 when I graduated with a BS in Speech/Language Pathology 3 yrs later.....and this time I really did know my stuff. Then went on to get my Masters Degree over the next two years (lived at home...Dad and I made up when I broke up with the boyfriend ). Paid for it all myself and don't have a single regret. I honestly think it was one of the best learning experiences I could ever have had.

Kids are all different, you're right, and many take it seriously from the start. But a great many flounder. I think it's just a different perspective on what's important and how best to achieve it. I just firmly believe that having a stake in the game is incredibly motivating for a young person...when it's so hard to know who you are, let alone who you want to be.

Fwiw I will add that our decision to not pay for college doesn't make us cheap or selfish. And it doesn't mean we won't ever help our kids achieve their dreams. If one of my kids was to work hard, stay focused, and get the education they needed, on their dime, and then wanted to start their own business? Well, we would certainly help with the start-up costs. If another did the same and then wanted to move to another city for an opportunity but didn't have the money to move or get themselves situated? We would provide what they needed to get them set up. It's not about trying to "make" them be an adult. It's that they 'are' an adult. There's nothing wrong with asking them to act like one and take responsibility for their own education.

Lastly...I'm not sure anyone is really trying to "tell" anyone what they should or shouldn't do. Just offering our own opinions that are largely based on what we would do, along with our reasons why we would do what we do. Last I heard, that's what a message board was all about

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Old 01-07-2013, 08:34 PM   #104
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I don't see the dropping out as all that big a deal, though what I would encourage is transferring to a local community college rather than leaving higher ed altogether.
Giving up a scholarship is kind of a big deal though, because she probably can't get it back once she gives it up. And I don't know how the school handles it, but since her sport is a spring sport and she took the scholarship and went in the fall on the scholarship, I would guess there would have to be a repayment of the money used to pay for fall with the scholarship. So it could be a very costly decision.

I agree community college is a good place to go for some courses and to figure things out. But I would first want to know exactly what this decision to drop out was going to cost.

OP, I wish you luck in this situation. I hope it all works out.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:03 AM   #105
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My father definately insisted that I take studying seriously as well. Of course, he was 90 minutes away from campus. He would've killed me if he knew what was going on but he didn't. I could ace a test even after only a week of studying (strange, photographic memory) so my GPA was always excellent. But that didn't mean I was getting anything out of it......I spent most of my time socializing and partying. Right after my Junior year my father held tuition over my head because he didn't like the boy I was dating. I think his exact words were "I'm not paying for you to go back up to that college to be with THAT boy". My response? "Fine, I don't need YOUR money!". And the next week I reduced my load to part-time, got myself an apartment (with lots of roommates), got two waitressing jobs and ended up changing my major. Best thing that ever happened to me. Talk about growing up and getting your priorities straight! I ended up with almost a 4.0 when I graduated with a BS in Speech/Language Pathology 3 yrs later.....and this time I really did know my stuff. Then went on to get my Masters Degree over the next two years (lived at home...Dad and I made up when I broke up with the boyfriend ). Paid for it all myself and don't have a single regret. I honestly think it was one of the best learning experiences I could ever have had.

Kids are all different, you're right, and many take it seriously from the start. But a great many flounder. I think it's just a different perspective on what's important and how best to achieve it. I just firmly believe that having a stake in the game is incredibly motivating for a young person...when it's so hard to know who you are, let alone who you want to be.

Fwiw I will add that our decision to not pay for college doesn't make us cheap or selfish. And it doesn't mean we won't ever help our kids achieve their dreams. If one of my kids was to work hard, stay focused, and get the education they needed, on their dime, and then wanted to start their own business? Well, we would certainly help with the start-up costs. If another did the same and then wanted to move to another city for an opportunity but didn't have the money to move or get themselves situated? We would provide what they needed to get them set up. It's not about trying to "make" them be an adult. It's that they 'are' an adult. There's nothing wrong with asking them to act like one and take responsibility for their own education.

Lastly...I'm not sure anyone is really trying to "tell" anyone what they should or shouldn't do. Just offering our own opinions that are largely based on what we would do, along with our reasons why we would do what we do. Last I heard, that's what a message board was all about
I think that one of the reasons it was such a good experience for you is that you had three years of already paid for school to build on when you went off on your own. That three years it took you to do your senior year could have been 12 years to do all four years at the same pace. I was on my own financially by senior year as well, but the only way I was able to do so was because my parents had paid for my earlier years.

I agree, kids need to gain financial independence at some point. However, every parent I know that has said they won't contribute to their kid's college expenses has changed their minds when the reality of the amount of money it costs now hits.
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