I’m not the first person who has been told they shouldn’t pursue their dreams. My experience thus far as an ambitious 21 year old isn’t unique, but it is one that should be shared to transparently disclose the true ups and downs of being a self-starter and to hopefully inspire those on the fence between choosing entrepreneurship or the corporate world.
It’s surprising how someone’s opinion of what you’re capable of can cause you to question your own path in life, and I am beyond grateful to have mentors on my side that challenged me to see beyond that.
I am writing this blog to document my experience starting my own restaurant. Unlike several of the other students that were accepted to Cornell’s Hospitality Program, I did not have a natural connection to the hospitality industry. My parents weren’t in the business, I didn’t grow up chopping various vegetables in the back of a kitchen, and I definitely didn’t have the slightest idea how to run a restaurant. I did know, however, that I had this burning passion to be a part of the restaurant culture. Every birthday turned into an excuse to put off my high school work and bake, and every independent assignment turned into various “deep discussions” from a look at the slow food movement to a photographic research project on Mexican cuisine. This borderline obsession slowly evolved into a dream to own my own restaurant, and that dream led me to Cornell.
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