Real Answers from Real Pilots

1.5 Weeks Out Nerves

(Carl Bosse) #1

Hello everyone,

I start Monday November 5th at ATP in Mesa, AZ. Im a week and a half away. And Im already feeling the nerves.

I’m 26 years old, I’ve been working at a manufacturing company for 2 years, got a college degree. I have been dreaming about flying, and would fly frequently with my cousin who is a GA pilot. Finally my situation made it so that I could enroll in ATP.

I chose ATP because I already have a degree, they offered financing, and you can’t beat 0 to CPL in 9 months. My parents also live in Mesa, 10 minutes from the facilities, which helps a lot with the housing.

My nerves, I think, stem from the fact that as I have read more and more on these forums, I’ve realized that I am not as prepared as others coming in. My current job makes it so I have very little study time at home, and even though I have completed all the prerequisites, I haven’t finished all the Kings Schools lessons for PPL and don’t have the written finished. My last day of work is the 31st of October, so I doubt I will be able to have it finished before my start date on the 5th.

Im sure I can handle the study load, I worked full time while doing my undergrad, and I have a pretty strong work ethic (graduated Magna Cum Laude). I also have had to go through a lot to get to where I am, including a job that I hate, commuting 1.5 hours to work 1 way every day, and not having a place to live for the past 3 months (story for another time). This has made it so that I am motivated to make sure I don’t screw this opportunity up. I have worked too hard and dealt with too much crap to screw up my only shot at a career that I actually love. Like I said, Im motivated, Im sure I can handle the study load, but I still feel nervous and unprepared.

Im sure the nerves are normal, did anyone else feel the same way I do? What are your stories?




The program is actually designed for the writtens to be completed during the program, we push completing them earlier because it does make the program easier, but it isn’t necessary. You will be fine, just buckle down when you can and catch up.




While I’m not sure that having “a job that you hate” and “commuting 1.5hrs to work” for a couple of years constitutes “going through a lot”, if you are in fact a hard worker you’ll be fine. As Chris said, there’s no requirement to complete the writtens prior it simply lightens the load.

I actually believe nerves are a good thing. It means you appreciate the situation and aren’t taking it for granted. Work hard and you’ll be fine, don’t and you won’t. It’s really that simple.


(Carl Bosse) #4

Adam and Chris,

Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.

Maybe my perception of going through a lot may not seem that much compared to what you or Chris have done. But I know what I’ve gone through, and comparing it to what a lot of my peers from school/college have been through, it is a lot.

I view this next stage in my life as an opportunity to start something new, and for me, knowing full well that I will have to study hard and take advantage of everything ATP has to offer, for me its a huge step up to what Im doing right now. And I don’t want to mess this up. Don’t worry, I will work hard.




I think being nervous is a good thing, use it as a motivator to make sure you work as hard as humanly possible during the program.



I wanted to point out one more thing. I too was incredibly nervous when I set out to start the program. A few years later, I was flying the very airplane that is at the top of our homepage on this website. Hang in there.



You obviously didn’t come on here to hear me preach, nor is this the proper forum for it. That said I will offer you some friendly advice. Rather then comparing your life to just your “peers from school” I suggest you broaden your view to others FAR less fortunate then you or I. The fact is the majority of the people on this planet will work jobs they hate for their entire lives and others even have physical and mental impairments that will prevent them from working at all. While I’m certain you “know what you’ve gone through” I’m willing to bet you don’t have to look far to see there are others in far worse situations. In case you’re wondering why I’m telling you this it really is to help you in your future career. You see when you’re sitting in a nice heated cockpit some winter morning in ORD and get a delay and then start whining about how this job sucks. Maybe, just maybe you’ll take a look down at the old guy sitting on the tug freezing and realize things aren’t so bad. If you don’t you may be sitting next to an old crusty like me who’ll make your next 4 days a living hell :slight_smile:

Good luck,


(Carl Bosse) #8


I appreciate the advice.

I only mentioned beforehand my past experiences because I have a lot of things I want to accomplish in my life, one of them being a commercial pilot. Im finally able to take steps in that direction, which motivates me to work hard to accomplish those goals. My past experiences give me motivation, it helps me to remember how hard I have worked so far, and what I have had to go through to get to where I am now. Im grateful for this opportunity. And now that I have the chance to do what I want, I don’t want to mess that up, which motivates me even more to work hard and do everything to the best of my abilities.

I hope I didn’t come across as an ungrateful new student. Like I said, I only mention my past details because that is one of my biggest motivators.


(Jordan Lascomb) #9


Your drive is exactly what will get you through the program successfully! As stated above, the writtens are built into the curriculum. It wasn’t even suggested a few years ago to do the written ahead of time, and the program was much shorter then. And still - students got through in the exact time frame allotted. No reason to feel behind before you even start because trust me, once you begin, there will be plenty of that later! I joke - mostly.

With the remaining time you have, try to set yourself up to be as successful as possible. I think a big part of that is making sure that you are able to give the program your entire focus over the next year and not have outside distractions (as you say you do right now).

You sound like a student I would have loved to have when I instructed at ATP - the right attitude, aptitude, and work ethic. Good luck in the program! I look forward to hearing about your successes.


(Tucker) #10

You are not alone being nervous. The weeks leading up to my start date made we wonder “can I be an airline pilot?”. The further into the program I got those nerves went away, and it turned into “when will I be an airline pilot.” Take it seriously, put in the work, and get it done. I tell all of our students during new student orientation that they are “giving up” 6-9 months of their life to get into a career for the rest of their lives.



I think we all agree that taking the writtens prior is not a requirement and with some hard work Alex will be fine. That said I completed the Career Pilot Program 15yrs ago and the FIRST thing I was told was to complete my writtens prior. Further I’ve been participating on this forum for over 10yrs and we’ve ALWAYS suggested it.

While it’s definitely not a requirement, it’s a darn good idea and even suggested on the ATP website


(Jordan Lascomb) #12

Understood. I can’t recall hearing that suggested to anyone during my time there. Maybe I was at the slacker locations (JAX and IWA), but I’ve only personally seen it in the last few years. In no way am I saying it’s a bad idea - I think it would help IMMENSELY. But again - I can only speak from personal experience. My only intention in posting was to say that it is possible to complete them during the program timeline.

(Tory) #13

When I went through, I don’t recall seeing anything about taking the writtens beforehand either. From what I’ve gathered, it was a requirement before my time. Adam must have been in that wave. When ATP decided to open up enrollment to a broader range of applicants, they took the PAR prerequisite away. They’ve recently added incentives for completing them early, but instead of being mandatory they’re optional. The link Adam cited was something I helped write shortly after I became a mentor on this forum.


(Jordan Lascomb) #14

Thanks Tory,

Even now that you mention it - I am thinking back to when I went through in 2013, and the writtens were included in the cost of the program (as I believe they still are today). I was never offered an option to use my tuition to take them early. And I know that none of my peers/students were offered or did this either. Obviously things have changed since, and for good reason. It is a great idea.

(Carl Bosse) #15

I appreciate all the responses. It makes me feel a little more calm about starting up.

Im already anticipating giving up 9 months of my life for my career, and I am making sure that I am limiting as many outside distractions as possible.

And Adam, if Im ever sitting next to you on a cold winder day in ORD with a delay, and if I make a comment like that, you have every right to rip me a new one. :slight_smile:

Thank you everyone!


(Francisco Roa) #16

Hello, how much is the entire class in arizona?



Please reference ATP’s website for all the information on the program. I also recommend you check the FAQ section for answers to many other questions