Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

The quarter-life crisis is the new mid-life crisis, and I am starting to feel like I am facing one.

I have been waxing poetic a lot lately about the idea of going back to school. Unfortunately, we live in an area where there are not a whole lot of options in the way of continuing education. Second problem: since I have my degree in Journalism (a Bachelor of Arts) and I work in the engineering field, I would have to take a bunch of undergraduate courses before beginning any Masters programs in Engineering or Computer Science. Third, and most importantly, I am tired of sitting at a desk all day.

Possible solutions I have brainstormed include taking courses online to complete a degree, staying with my parents during the week while taking classes at a state school and coming home on the weekends, taking a lesser paying job wherein my bank account would be less full, but I would feel fulfilled in my work and have a lesser commute. This last option is also ideal for starting a family within the next few years.

**Pipe Dream Alert**
The most exciting option I have thought of is going to Culinary School to become a Pastry Chef. Say what?! Crazy, I know. But whenever I am feeling hopelessly stressed, I turn to baking to relieve some tension. Then, I give those baked goods away to other people and I feel even better. I love seeing the reactions of those who eat my cooking or savor in my baking.

Things holding me back: car payment and existing student loans. I keep telling myself to stick it out in my current career until I pay off my car and my student loans so I can be debt free. The benefit of taking online courses or being a part time student is that I can continue to work while furthering my degree. Unfortunately, Culinary School is a full time job in itself; one that requires an externship that would not allow me to continue on full time in my current duties.

I am just not adventurous enough to completely throw caution to the wind and uproot my life while incurring more debt.

After further research, I discovered that the culinary school which I have been looking into offers courses for furthering education. Classes meet for three hours, one night a week over a span of 20 weeks.

I am really excited about this option because it would give me the chance to dip my toes in the water of a new career without committing. The cost of this furthering education course is also a tenth of the cost of the full on culinary training. #winning

The school is a hefty commute, but I am a firm believer that anything worth doing does not come easily. I was discussing this with a friend of mine recently who asked me, "Would you rather try and fail/decide it's not for you, or always wonder what if?"

So my new goal is to start setting aside a little bit of money each month to put towards furthering my education in a new field. Worst case scenario, I become a better baker. Nobody's complaining about that.


  1. Eric and I both went to culinary school. I had wanted to go just for pastry arts too but when he found out my plans he wanted to go to so we ended up doing culinary arts. We had a couple of pastry arts classes but I still wish I had done JUST pastry arts. I say go for it!

  2. Thanks Lisa! That's very encouraging. And explains so much! You're always baking and cooking yummy things. In the long run, I just think I'd feel more fulfilled than in what I'm currently doing. Thanks for your support!