A special editorial based on my personal experience after passing the assessments, but before starting the real training. Nothing more than some thoughts on a webpage.
Living as a waiting trainee is not very difficult, I still have my little normal life: I get up early in the morning, I have a part-time job and in the afternoon I’m free to attend football trainings, play, go out or study.
It doesn’t seem that bad after all, but there are some aspects that worth to be highlighted. I’m not teaching you anything (I’d never like to by the way), but only telling what I learnt in this few months of “stand-by”.
First of all there is a kind of “voice” in your mind telling “you are leaving soon” without stopping.
Sometimes might be annoying because it will maybe prevent you from doing what you wish but, believe me, there’s nothing better: because you suddenly begin a “one shot” man.
In fact you don’t have a second attempt in almost anything you do and, if my life was based on second attempts, I had to change my lifestyle even before attending the assessment event, as I felt them as my biggest “one shot” in my life. My personal advice is: never be afraid of try.
It doesn’t matter what, try to succeed in everything you do, and never procrastinate. It seems trivial, but believe me: the satisfaction you’ll get at the end of the day really worths the effort to do today what you could have done tomorrow.
And this is also part of your interview with an airline or a flight schools, meaning that learning to respect and anticipate deadlines is not that useless.
Trying is critical also because allows you to start your training without regrets or doubts, with a fresh mind that can easily focus on the goal.
After some time you will learn how to ignore this companion because you’ll get used to this kind of lifestyle. This is one of the most beautiful things of flight training: it changes you even before starting it!
It’s really important that you understand that the motivation that you will get in this period is really high and you can use that “boost” to complete what you are willing to do, even if it doesn’t regard flight training. But don’t forget to bring some with you when you will start training!
Of course I’m joking.
Another great side of being a waiting trainee is that all the shit that happens have a marginal meaning, because of course you are leaving soon.
I am slowly realizing that I started to get rid of troubles and struggles that doesn’t affect my friends and my family directly, and even what regards myself doesn’t have the same “weight” of some months ago.
It can appear selfish but you have to consider that if you are planning to attend your training abroad or far from your home thne you have to find the courage to break the links with your sorroundings and feel free.
I’d thank my english teacher that actually told me a million of times about James Joyce’s “Dubliners“. Why? I’m going to let you read it and discover by yourself.
There aren’t only pros in being a waiting trainee, it’s obvious, and the highest risk is to miss the goal, let me explain better.
You can feel realized after passing your assessments, but there’s nothing worst.
Of course you must be happy and motivated, because I’m sure you started this wonderful adventure a long time before attending an official exam for a flight school.
For example I started by chance with X-Plane 7 when I was just nine years old, now I am double the age and I can assure that the path I’ve done wasn’t that easy.
I sacrified feelings, relationships and hobbies in the last three years to take a plane from Rome to Sevilla and to be in Jerez in September. It’s quite alright that you feel realized.
But actually I did everithing to have an ATPL licence, not to join a flight school!
Remember that your place is in a real cockpit neither in a ground school, nor in front of a simulator! You have two eyes, try to keep one on the training and the other one on the goal, this is a source of motivation too.
Another risk is that you can feel alone sometimes, or not in the right place. It’s quite rare but it happens.
I lived the same feelings for a few weeks and it can really affect everything around you. The things you do may not come along smoothly as before, don’t let it bring you down.
In these moments it’s hard to find determination and solace, but it’s just your impression.
You are not alone, and you have to realize that the sooner you let the source of this feelings go, the sooner you will be alright!
These are the times when you have to show how “hungry and foolish” you are, because if you let something (or someone as in some cases, including mine) destroy your plans then you have to reconsider your life.
If you really want to become a pilot (or at least a trainee 🙂 ), as I hope and wish you, you have to take advantage from the good moments and be brave to face the bad ones with experience and wisdom.
Always ask yourself if you are convinced of what you are doing, talk with your family and your friends (I tried to ask advices also to my dog, but he was focused only on the slice of ham in my hand), and be ready for everything that happens by chance.
An american friend of mine used to say that life is an highway – I’m pretty sure he stole this metaphor from songs or books – I’d add that you are stuck at the toll: are you going to take the ticket and travel or not?