Like many foodies, I spend the majority of my down time watching Food Network. After watching every episode of Chopped on Netflix and just about every episode that has aired on television, I’m almost certain that being in the Chopped Kitchen and being in college are basically the same thing for these seven reasons.
1. No matter how hard you try, there’s always that professor that is not impressed with your work
I have a recurring nightmare in which I am on Chopped and, despite putting my heart and soul into my cuisine, Geoffrey Zakarian hates my food. This has also happened with professors. Just when you think that you’ve written the most exquisitely crafted essay after spending hours in the library, they return it to you with a less-than-stellar grade written at the top.
2) You go to class every day with almost no idea of what is going to be thrown at you
Some of the ingredients on Chopped are horrifying surprises. Coming to class every day with no idea what to expect is equally horrifying. Whether it’s sea cucumbers or a surprise pop quiz, you have to wake up every morning prepared for battle.
3) Everything is done with a sense of urgency
We’ve all watched the seconds tick away signaling the end of a round on Chopped, when some competitors don’t have their food on the plates and they’re running around the kitchen frantically. Think you can really type that essay 20 minutes before it’s due? It’s crunch time.
4) It’s all about the money
Sure, bragging rights are amazing, but every chef wants to walk out of the Chopped Kitchen with 10,000 dollars in their pockets. Being a chef often means money is tight, and any opportunity to get some extra cash is always appreciated. College students are no stranger to this feeling, whether it’s for paying off student loans or getting late-night pizza.
5) Trying something ~new~ can be rewarding, but it can also be a huge mistake
I can’t be the only one who yells at my TV screen when a chef tries molecular gastronomy and fails miserably. While I appreciate the risk takers of the world, some risks are better left alone, like taking a upper level chemistry class as a business major, or trying out for a Division I team after being on an intramural league for a month.
6) Sometimes, you fall short of your goal
Despite our best efforts, sometimes we fail. Whether it’s forgetting to put an ingredient on the plate or studying all night only to find out the test was on completely different material, we’ve all missed the mark at some point.
7) At the end of the day, you learn to work with what you’re given, and have a major sense of accomplishment
Even the competitors who are eliminated are proud of themselves for tackling tricky ingredients and producing amazing dishes. While every day may not be your best, the ability to persevere will serve you well in the future. So no matter what life throws at you, whether it be chicken in a can or a terrifyingly long thesis, know that you can take it head on. Go get ’em, tiger.