Round 3 - Fight! - Teodora Grama

Round 3 – Fight!

Pilot training is a long and difficult process one has to go through in order to become qualified to control an aircraft – everybody knows that, right? Boy, I had no idea. No amount of research or talking to commercial pilots can mentally prepare you for the real experience. It takes renewed commitment, focus and hard work every day.teodora-grama-fight-2


I have successfully passed 6 out of the 14 ATPL subjects so far. My next exam date, the third exam, is set for the 23rd of November, less than 3 weeks from when I am writing this blog entry. General navigation, Instrumentation and Human Performance and Limitations are next. (You’d think I got used to this rhythm by now.) 3 months – that’s all you get in order to study for something that will dictate how good a pilot you will be in your career. Or is it? During the last few weeks I have been so tough on myself, racking my brains on finding ways to sit myself down and put even more hours into studying (right now I’m averaging approximately 6 per day). And then, after endless talks with professionals with years and years of experience in their own fields, it hit me. The human brain, our memories, are not designed to remember this much information in such a short time. And the information that you have stored and don’t apply degrades very quickly with time. The ability to make decisions, the knowledge, the procedures, all the qualities that will make you a great professional will be, in their majority, acquired through OJT (On the Job Training).


So, I am doing the best I can and trying every day to give it my all. Sure, there is place for improvement. Always. But I deserve to be here. I have put in the work and the dedication, I went through multiple assessments and interviews, medical checks, video interviews, endless forms. I am exactly where I need to be at this point in life.

teodora-grama-fight-1I am going to kick this next exam’s butt! I will stop comparing myself with the people around me, or with the imaginary version of myself and where I think I should be, compared to where I really am. I will focus more on my journey and becoming the best version of myself, right now, in the present. I will try to stop associating making mistakes with feeling embarrassed. We are all different – some have better technical skills, some have better social skills. Others are in the middle. And it’s okay to be either way. What is important is that you acknowledge and work on improving the side that is lacking more. At the end of the day, successful people are not necessarily the ones who were gifted, but the ones who never quit when they made mistakes.


OK, enough motivating waffle. Back to studying 🙂

How do you cope with exam stress? Or peer pressure? Do you feel that sometimes you are too hard on yourself? Help a sister out.


I’ll leave you with a motivational quote. It’s more for myself but I hope it will help others like me, too. Until the next time, remember, keep the blue side up, aviators!

You’ll be bothered from time to time by storms, fog, snow. When you are, think of those who went through it before you, and say to yourself, ‘What they could do, I can do.’ Antoine de Saint Exupery

photo via Pinterest.