Sophomore Grace Collins finds a talent in culinary arts and support through the crew team


Cooking and baking are known as talents that are hard to polish. A very time-consuming and quantitative hobby that only some can perfect. Sophomore Grace Collins, on the other hand, has a natural and fluid ability to make brilliant dishes.

To Grace, the art of baking or cooking is a very relaxing way to calm down.

“It’s relaxing to me,” Grace said, “I turn my phone off, and I turn on the music. Then, it’s just repetitive, and it calms me down when I’m super stressed out.”

Not only is it a way to destress, but it’s also a way for Grace to interact and come closer to family and is the reason she became invested in culinary arts in the first place. 

“Both of my grandmas liked to cook,” Grace said. “[During] Christmas, we would always cook, and then I kind of got into it from [my grandmas] so I have a lot of my grandma’s recipes, and I make random things like for times a week.”

Making something from scratch is almost always be a daily task for Grace. Every night, she makes her family dinner; however, baking is more of a favorite—especially French desserts.

It’s not very hard for Grace to master a recipe, it normally takes three tries at the recipes, from meringues to eclairs and macaroons on her first try. 

“I prefer to bake more,” Grace said, “but I make dinner every night at my house, so I do more cooking than I do baking. But when I can, I like to bake french desserts.”

Even with being a master chef, cooking and baking have its challenges. Being able to manage your own time when dealing with multiple dishes is of utmost importance.

“When you’re making a lot of [dishes],” Grace said, “like at thanksgiving, you have to figure out how to manage each dish within the other dishes with your heat sources and how long it takes to cool so you don’t burn things or over rising dough.”

She plans to pursue this talent by traveling abroad to Paris and minoring in it for college. 

Culinary arts isn’t her only hobbyGrace is also involved in rowing. She decided to join her friends in the sport freshman year, and it took off from there. 

“It was cool to have a group of girls who were all supportive that spend six days a week together, sleeping together, and waking up at 4 am together,” Grace said.

Not only is crew held together with a strong bond and a big community, but it’s also a great way to get fit. With long workouts of cardio and strength training to enhance ability. 

“I liked the workouts better in crew, and I liked how it motivated me better,” Grace said. “I felt like I was getting stronger, and I felt like I could do it versus something that I had to do.”

These workouts help to increase the strength and speed of the boat, but if one person isn’t keeping up, the whole boat isn’t keeping up. 

“I enjoyed doing it,” Grace said, “especially with friends, and it’s very team-based. If one of you messes up, all of you mess up, so I liked that aspect of it.”

Boats are only functional when the team works with each other.  The whole boat needs to want to accomplish the goal together; it’s necessary to have everyone in the boat working together.

“If there are issues between your team members, it can affect your boat,” Grace said. “You kind of have to leave everything on the shore, otherwise it can affect your races.”

Even through the tough and testing challenges of crew, it still provides a support system for all of its team members through each other. A good support system is all that Grace needs from her teammates and what they need from her.

“It’s nice to have people who are going through the same thing and help you get through it,” Grace said. “You have friends who can help you with homework on the buses, or in between races, they can be there for you. So, it’s nice to have people understand what you’re going through.”