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15 Reasons You Wouldn't Want To Go To Culinary School

It's certainly not for everyone.

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1. The classes are long (like, really long).

Culinary classes range anywhere between two and eight hours (and that's not even counting the time it takes to clean up). Some can go as long as nine hours with few to no breaks.
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Culinary classes range anywhere between two and eight hours (and that's not even counting the time it takes to clean up). Some can go as long as nine hours with few to no breaks.

2. And they start shockingly early (and late).

Many culinary schools run 24/7 and classes are scheduled at all times of the day (and night). Many students go to school on top of working a full-time job, so classes outside of the typical nine to five are not uncommon.
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Many culinary schools run 24/7 and classes are scheduled at all times of the day (and night). Many students go to school on top of working a full-time job, so classes outside of the typical nine to five are not uncommon.

3. Two words: fish class.

Fish class is one of the first classes culinary students take. Besides being difficult (and smelly), the class is several hours long and typically held in a refrigerated classroom kept at a chilly 40° F.
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Fish class is one of the first classes culinary students take. Besides being difficult (and smelly), the class is several hours long and typically held in a refrigerated classroom kept at a chilly 40° F.

4. The kitchens can reach a sweltering 90° F.

Just like a restaurant kitchen, classrooms reach dangerously hot temperatures and you're expected to remain in your uniform at all times (including a coat, a neckerchief, long pants, and a hat).
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Just like a restaurant kitchen, classrooms reach dangerously hot temperatures and you're expected to remain in your uniform at all times (including a coat, a neckerchief, long pants, and a hat).

5. You'll have to learn how to deal with cuts, burns, and other injuries like a pro.

On top of cooking, you'll learn how to treat cuts and burns like a professional. The only people busier than the chefs at culinary school are the nurses.
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On top of cooking, you'll learn how to treat cuts and burns like a professional. The only people busier than the chefs at culinary school are the nurses.

6. You won't have a summer break. Or a spring break. Or a winter break.

Most culinary schools don't have long holiday breaks, and getting just one week off for winter and summer is not uncommon. Be prepared to attend class all throughout the year if you enroll (even if that means missing holidays with your family).
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Most culinary schools don't have long holiday breaks, and getting just one week off for winter and summer is not uncommon. Be prepared to attend class all throughout the year if you enroll (even if that means missing holidays with your family).

7. You're going to spend a lot of time cleaning.

Everyday you spend several hours cleaning dishes, mopping, and polishing an endless amount of stainless steel. If you thought culinary schools had dishwashers who cleaned up after students, you'd be wrong.
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Everyday you spend several hours cleaning dishes, mopping, and polishing an endless amount of stainless steel. If you thought culinary schools had dishwashers who cleaned up after students, you'd be wrong.

8. The teachers expect a lot out of you...

Teachers are intense and replicate what it's really like to work in a fine-dining restaurant. You're expected to come to class eager and ready to work every day.
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Teachers are intense and replicate what it's really like to work in a fine-dining restaurant. You're expected to come to class eager and ready to work every day.

9. And make it very obvious when they're not happy with you.

Discipline is taken very seriously at culinary school and you'll become completely unfazed by yelling. There's always going to be one teacher who is infamous for their temper.
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Discipline is taken very seriously at culinary school and you'll become completely unfazed by yelling. There's always going to be one teacher who is infamous for their temper.

10. The only words you're allowed to say will be "yes chef" and "no chef."

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Thinking about questioning your teacher? That's not going to fly. A simple "yes chef" and "no chef" are the only things you'll safely be allowed to say without getting in trouble.

11. And even when you're out of the kitchen, you're expected to be in uniform at all times.

Many culinary schools have strict uniform codes for inside the kitchen as well as out. For example, at The Culinary Institute of America students are required to wear business casual attire or chef whites anytime they're in the building.
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Many culinary schools have strict uniform codes for inside the kitchen as well as out. For example, at The Culinary Institute of America students are required to wear business casual attire or chef whites anytime they're in the building.

12. They take attendance very seriously.

Many classes are only a month long and missing just one day will seriously impact your grade. If you become sick, you're going to have to push through it to get the grade.
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Many classes are only a month long and missing just one day will seriously impact your grade. If you become sick, you're going to have to push through it to get the grade.

13. You're constantly under pressure to complete your tasks.

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There will be days when your whole afternoon is spent sprinting from oven to workstation just to get your work done. Teachers stress having a "sense of urgency" and test your time management skills daily.

14. You'll have to work with partners and teams (for better or worse).

Your grade will rely on your ability to work with your class. Just like a real kitchen, if someone's not pulling their weight, it will hurt the entire team (and possibly cost you a passing grade).
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Your grade will rely on your ability to work with your class. Just like a real kitchen, if someone's not pulling their weight, it will hurt the entire team (and possibly cost you a passing grade).

15. There's a lot of preparation that needs to be done before starting class.

Like bleaching your whites, sharpening your knives, shaving, and studying your recipes all in addition to your normal homework.

And even though there's a million reasons not to go, there are a million great reasons to go.

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Are you ready for the challenge?

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