So, I put my AFF on hold for a couple of months because I wasn't really confortable in the DZ where I did my Level 1/Tandem thingy. I switched to another DZ and started all over again. Did Level 1 and 2 last weekend (no tandems, 2:1 exits). I think I did a decent Level 1 jump (followed instructions, pretty stable for a first timer and I deployed by myself), except that I totally fucked up my landing. Have you seen those videos in which a driving student hits gas instead of brakes and they just keep on doing that until they crash? well, that happened to me on my first landing, I did a pretty good landing pattern, I was heading towards the landing area, and WHY OH WHY I made a right turn.... and I knew that I was going in the wrong direction, but kept doing it (just like those driving students). I landed on my ass and my instructor told me "thank God you are in a forgiving student canopy, otherwise we'd be waiting for an ambulance right now". So my confidence got pretty broken, that was so not what I had pictured for my first jump, I fucked up, and felt SO stupid. Then I get on the plane again for a second jump, and I was so focused on trying to understand the signals from the instructor flying in front of me, that I totally forgot to check my altimeter (*major facepalm*), so my main instructor that was grabbing me had to shake me to make me focus, and it was time to deploy and I did. But then, I fucked up my landing again!!!! I couldn't hear well on the radio in which direction I should land, and instead of checking the direction of the wind (another facepalm), I went where I "thought" I had heard. So.... I made my landing pattern, and I missed the landing spot, I was still too high, and I was heading towards some cars and a hangar.... I started to make the same mistake as the first time (turning right), but then realized what I was doing and corrected it and landed on my ass again on the driveway (luckily a car that was coming in saw me and stopped). Ego severely bruised, but no scratches. Still, I felt pretty frustrated and my confidence went to the floor. I didn't want to continue for the day. Later, I went to have dinner with my instructor and 3 other diver friends and they told me I should focus on what I did right, instead of what I did wrong, just learn from my mistakes, they were pretty supportive but at the same time very honest. I had a meltdown as soon as I got in the car and cried all the way back to the hotel (I'm a crybaby). I was still pretty bummed on Sunday, so I just hung around at the DZ, watching/shadowing my instructor teach a kid who did his last 3 levels that day and graduated. Two days later, I am still struggling with my confidence, I want to do level 3 on Saturday and maybe just do one level each weekend... take it very slow, as I seem to get new information slower than other people. Please, tell me your struggles when you were doing your AFF course...!! I need to hear I am not the only shitty student out there!!! If you were the perfect student, I don't want to hear from you, seriously!! I kind of need stories of shitty students that finally made it and are happy and safe divers today, please!!
If you made it this far in this rant, THANK YOU SO MUCH!