I attended my second (and last) year of culinary school during the 2007-2008 school-year, when I was 17.
During the first year we had been taught a bunch of general skills in the food service industry. For the second year, we had to choose a specific field. Chef, waiter, or baker. I chose to become a chef.
Some days we had theoretical classes, other days we had practical cooking classes. When we were actually cooking, we would end up eating the food we had cooked for lunch. So I put on quite a bit of weight during that period.
I actually have short anecdote about one of those lunches:
So this one time we were eating some fish, along with grated carrot. I got a little piece of bone, but I just kept it in my mouth for a time, chewing on in. Finally I took it out, and discovered that it was actually a nail. The person who had been grating the carrot had probably sliced their nail off with the grater, and I had been chewing on it for a good ten minutes. Gross right?
Before we could graduate, we had to take both written and practical tests. I was never good at working within the school system, but I passed.
But that was only the beginning of the journey. I also had to have two years of apprenticeship before I could take the practical exam to become a chef.
But I decided that I first wanted to take one year of general studies to achieve general university admissions certification. That way I could be ellegable to join a university at any later point, something graduating from culinary school did not guarantee on its own.
So I ended up having three years between culinary school and my apprenticeship, something which set me back a bit. But in the end, I made it!