For a long time I was always taught that you should lean toward things that delayed gratification. Do the work now and eventually it will pay off in the years ahead of you. When you go to University you spend a few years learning your craft then hopefully you come out and find a good position somewhere. That would be an example of delayed gratification and certainly would be something I would want my kids to do.
But a waiter who is waiting on tables is interested only in instant gratification. The waiter does the work and when the table gets up and leaves they leave a gratuity resulting in getting paid for services rendered right away. Many younger people who get hooked in this business stay for that one reason and that is because right away they start having some cash in their pocket and rather than go to school and spend 4 years they say to heck with it they like the cash better and being debt free.
Nowadays I will say this about waiting on tables. If you do it right and take the profession seriously like you would if you were studying to become a doctor waiting on tables can be a very rewarding career choice.
The industry is crying for young people who actually want to be a good waiter instead of many who use it as something to carry them over till something else pops up. The opportunities are out there so if you haven’t yet decided what you want to do and wondering if you should pay a huge tuition for something you may or may not like consider the Service Industry.
Usually the employer will give you flexible hours, provide on the job training especially in corporate restaurants, meals will be available at a discount, and you meet other like minded people enjoying their life as well.
It seems to have worked out for me. The same can happen for you.
Another thing is this instant gratification thing actually helps your self esteem because when everyone is rewarding you by giving you their money you always feel great!