For me, this is a very weird post to be writing. Writing this for me personally feels like the end of a year long journey. They say it’s the journey that counts, not the destination, and for me that feels true at this point in my life. I’m not going to lie… this year has been one of the weirdest, hardest and most exhausting years of my life, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
If you’re on NVQ level 2, trust me, you have no idea what you heading for! Why would that put you off though, don’t you want to be challenged? Don’t you want to grow? Meet new people? And let’s be honest see what you’re really made of?
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like I had a lot more free time last year. Maybe because my 5-day week turned into 6, or maybe I had less work, fewer responsibilities, little things this year that sap up my time. I’m not complaining, because all those things that sap my time are for my benefit, opportunities and support that are all for my benefit. Nevertheless it just seems I’m busier. I’ve got used to it, though, and at least between college, work, responsibilities and my hint of a social life I don’t have any time to be bored. I don’t have any time do anything stupid, get in any trouble or sit around.
The thing I do miss this year are my support network, my family and those friends that are basically your family. But life goes through seasons and for now that’s okay, they know I miss them and it makes our time precious and important. On the other hand, my college friends have become more and more of a vital support for me, spending all our time together, working together and us all going through this together has made us a unit. But seriously, what did I do with all my free time last year?
NVQ 3 has been a really positive thing for me. As a chef I’ve improved so much in a short few months since last September, and my classmates and I all feel so much more confident and sure of ourselves in the kitchen. The thing with the progression this year is that NVQ level 2 teaches you a lot of skills and techniques, but NVQ 3 is about tying those things together in a process that can be carried out independently. In the kitchen it’s also amazing to watch your peers grow as well as yourself, some people I’ve watched this year and I’ve thought “wow, when did you get that good?”
As I have written about in a previous post, the opportunities UCB have afforded me have been amazing! UCB is one of those places where dedication, maturity and hard work are rewarded with opportunity to do some exciting things. Both in level 2 and 3 I’ve been able to go to some great events, work on special dinners and with world class chefs as part of enrichment. These experiences are invaluable as they break up the repetitive days and long hours and sometimes in the midst of such hard work and long hours, passion gets lost, and these opportunities remind me why I started on this lifelong journey in the first place.
This year has gone so fast, I remember my first day of Level 3 like it was yesterday and I can’t believe how fast my first 2 years at UCB have gone. Now it’s time to look to the future, and to my first year of university studying an FDA in Professional Cookery.
So kids, just remember, Level 3 is very different and, dare I say, harder than Level 2, but there is even more to gain from this year!