Yes, you should go to college, BUT... see if you can defer your scholarship and take a year off before you start. Spend that time working in a restaurant and really thinking about what you can get out of college that will help you be successful in running a business: accounting, marketing, maybe a chance to study abroad and experience a different culture and cuisine firsthand.
If you start college when you don't really want to be there and feel like it serves no purpose besides standing between you and your dream, you're not going to get anything out of it. You'll put more effort into your part-time restaurant job than you do into any of your classes or activities. Your parents will be mad, your grades will be terrible, and you'll eventually regret that you didn't take the time to make friends among your classmates and enjoy the college experience. Trust me on this.
If you can't take a year off, then spend time this summer working in and researching the restaurant business and what your college has to offer that will help you achieve your dream. If the school doesn't offer a degree in hospitality management, can you design your own major? Can you get elective credits for taking courses at a culinary school, or an internship with a restaurant company?
You don't have to choose between college and your dream; you just need to figure out how college can help you achieve your dream. It may take a little more work than just signing up for a major and graduating with a degree, but it will be worth it in the long run.
More than anything else, don't be afraid to ask for help. I wish I had figured that out when I was in college.
When you talk to your teachers, don't just ask them to cut you some slack. Tell them that you realize that you have a problem, you really want to turn things around, and you need their help to do it. Ask them what, if any, options you have for getting caught up in their class, and be honest about the fact that you're way behind in all of your courses. It might be better to focus on the one or two classes where the professor is most willing to work with you and try to get permission to withdraw from the others.
So excited that YoLo is coming to Midtown and that there will be new life on Madison Avenue!
Best of luck to you! I'll miss your columns and reporting, but I know you'll be bringing about better things for Memphis!
Does it defeat the purpose of a "shopping diet" if you buy multiples of an item when you would normally only buy one?
When I got my first restaurant job a little less than 20 years ago, I made $2.13 an hour as a tipped employee. "Regular" minimum wage was $4.25 an hour. Today, minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and tipped employees still make $2.13. Just something to keep in mind.
There's a Buffalo Exchange on Magazine Street in New Orleans, too. Closer than Austin and equally as cool.
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By Jackson Baker
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