As a fledgling student, I like to read the Instructors area of the Forum. I get insights into the mentality of the instructors, why they are instructors, the problems they have with students, how I can help them help me, etc.
I'd like a Students area where we talk about what instructors do, what helps us, what makes us nervous or confused, what an instructor has done to help us, what we think we expect, etc.
I'm certain that instructors forget what it's like to be a new student. I read their posts, and they seem often to have forgotten some of our fears, some of our difficulties with the culture of skydiving, of what's expected of us as students, how to get along with an instructor, how to behave on an AFF lesson, etc.
Or a place for dialog between students and instructors. My instructor last Saturday said, "You have a tendency to try to help me [adjust the harness], and that's nice, but I really need you to be neutral since this stuff has to be adjusted symetrically," and so on. I had no idea.
I'd like a forum for discussing or learning that kind of thing.
There is - it's called "Safety and training". You just have to learn to filter out the good advice and ignore the noise generated by upjumpers like me who don't know what they are talking about, but speak up anyway
Although the idea sounds good, it has a serious flaw. What would happen is, students would be giving advice to students...nothing good would come of that. Stick to General, S&T and the Instructor forums, sort out the crap, and you will learn much!
Last year I as a student, i had the same idea.... a forum for students to share experiences and was told the same basic thing. So I read and still read the suggested forums and seldom post and certainly never ask questions. Newbies are way too often either told to use the search button because the topic has already been discussed or get flamed for their posts. Sooner or later, things I'd like to ask do get asked or I figure out the right topic to search for. Yeah, students giving students advice isn't good, but neither is the reception they receive here either.
The issue is that DZ to DZ some things are done differently and other things are best discussed in person with the instructor. If I would give advice on how to do something like a front flip to a student it might be different then how their DZ teaches it and from an instructors standpoint there is nothing worse then trying to have the argument that you don't care how some person on the internet says to do something, there is a way and a reason behind why I want to teach you to do it.
Student to Student advice is not only a bad idea it is dangerous.
I agree that student to student advice would be dangerous, especially on the internet. What I had in mind originally was a place to share experiences and the excitement that comes with starting to learn to jump, not giving and getting advice. I've come to realize that probably wouldn't work, but it still would have been nice to have been able to share those moments with others that were at the same place I was. I do pm with a pretty fair number of new jumpers, especially those near my age and enjoy doing that a lot.
When it comes to questions, I generally just search or wait. I'm not about to post questions and get told to use the search function (I use it often when I know what to search for). Maybe it's from being a bit older that most new jumpers, but I carefully sift through posts for things that seem reasonable or that arouse my curiosity and then take the ideas to experienced jumpers I know and trust to explore further. Sooner or later, my questions get asked by someone.