Fly With The Eagles | Teen Ink

Fly With The Eagles

November 3, 2007
By Alex Neigher, Oak Park, CA

Ever since I was old enough to dream, I have imagined myself soaring with the eagles. My love of flying has sculpted the way I live, and the person I have become. Two years ago that passion rocketed to new heights when I had the opportunity to visit Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. For a whole week I lived in a college dorm, roomed with a total stranger, and best of all… I flew!
My group took part in activities ranging from learning about the history of aviation to flying in state-of-the-art pilot training simulators. At least once a day, I strapped into one of the world’s best training aircraft, the Cessna 182. Not only did I receive thorough ground instruction, but I also got to --yes-- fly. In total, I logged five hours toward receiving my private pilot’s license. In that one joyous and oh-so-short week, my passion for aviation grew even more than I thought possible. Now whenever I see a plane fly over, I feel a sense of pride in the fact that “ I’ve done that.”
During my time in and above the Arizona desert, I learned not only about the mechanics and techniques of aviation, but also about myself, and about how I see the world. As I floated in that seemingly endless sea of air, I became aware of the variety and complexity of the humanity below me. On the ribbons of roadways, each tiny car carried people with hopes and dreams. I clearly remember thinking, “I wonder if any of these people has ever wished to fly like an eagle?” Then I realized that each must have his or her own dreams and aspirations. That’s what makes us each unique. We try to respond to something special inside us. I also realized that I was especially fortunate to be making my own dream come true.
Everywhere I go, I hear, “Do what makes you happy in life, and you will be happy.” It sounds like the standard advice, but I’ve really thought about it, and I’ve taken it to heart. I could care less about how much money I make, or what benefits I receive, or anything of that sort. I know that I am already in hot pursuit my dreams. And, even if they change, even if they don’t involve aviation anymore…I’ll always aim to fly with eagles.


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