So there I was, about to start my last year of high school, at age 17, knowing that I was accepted to the flight school and going to become a pilot. It felt like a dream! All I had to do, was graduating high school and prepare for the pilot course!
The first day of school I immediately made some changes. I used to do Science at Gymnasium level, which had classic languages included. I decided to drop Latin (I had already dropped Ancient Greek) as it was taking a lot of my time and I preferred to focus more on the science subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology) that were quite difficult. I did need to choose another subject, so I chose Spanish. My classmates had chosen Spanish 2 years before, so the course I was going to join was already quite advanced. I therefore had to study everything that I had missed in the previous two years to keep up with my classmates. Knowing that I was going to study in Madrid, I had the perfect motivation and I loved studying the language.
The last year of high school passed by so fast, I had to study a lot but was constantly daydreaming about my future life as a pilot! In June 2011 I sat my high school exams and I graduated! My best mark? An amazing 10 (out of 10) for Spanish!
You must know that when starting flight school I barely knew anything about aviation. And that was okay. I was about to start an ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence) integrated course and in the next 10 months I was going to learn everything I needed to know to pass the official exams and more.
In October 2011 I moved to Spain. On my own, at 18 years old. It was the biggest adventure of my life (so far). I was welcomed by the most amazing people and moved into a house with three other student pilots. They were all from Holland, too. It was in a town close to Cuatro Vientos airport, the location of the flight school. On the first evening, before starting the course, the other Dutch students (about 20 students) organised a welcome drink so we got to know everybody. I got to know the local pub where I didn’t know I was going to end up weekly to spend time with my new friends. We were a little Dutch community in Leganés, the town where we lived, and the owners of the pub (Rincon) always greeted us nicely, as it had been a tradition for many years among the Dutch student pilots.
One of my roommates was Ruben and we connected really well. We both missed home quite a lot in the first few months and it helped a lot to at least have each other as we felt very comfortable around each other. We became really good friends. Little did I know that this new roommate of mine was going to be my pilot colleague at an airline in the future! But I will tell you all about that later on. First, I will tell you about the two years of flight school!