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10 Questions with…Andrea Watts

Michael Jordan

Senior Andrea Watts is academically inclined while being awarded the Cum Laude cord and remaining on the Honor Roll. She is a member of the Black Student Union and is also on the Track team. Watts is a prime example of not being afraid of change because she found something she loves to do after leaving her childhood sport. Watts has won Leagues, has been to States, and has many more accomplishments to complete as she goes onto her next chapter of life becoming a pilot with a full ride to MSU.

Andrea Watts beams with pride as she displays some of her trophies.

What inspired you to start doing track after cheering your whole life? 

I ended up having a rough season and needed a small break and one of the track coaches suggested that I should try track. I enjoyed it a lot and continued to do it. I still cheer sometimes because it still is a big part of my life.

How do you prepare mentally and physically for a big meet, are there things you do as a group or solo?

For big meets I like to listen to music on the way or when I’m warming up to get in the racing mood. I try to make sure I have eaten enough food for the day and have had enough water.

Many people say that eating before you run is a bad thing because you could potentially get sick, if so what is your opinion on that?

I do believe that eating before a race makes you sick. I feel like your body doesn’t have enough time to digest the food. I have personally eaten some goldfish before a race and it made me feel sick for the rest of the meet.

Out of all the schools you considered, what school would you enjoy going to the most for your aviation program? 

As of right now, I am torn between Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University. The pilots I have met mentioned not majoring in flight science because if it doesn’t work out you would have to go to school again so I would be majoring in mechanical engineering when I do go to college. But there are flight schools close to each university so I still would be flying.

What is your favorite thing about flying? Did you have any fears? 

My favorite thing about flying is the views. They are super pretty, especially the sunset. I also like take off as well because I think it’s cool how you feel like you’re just floating off the ground. I used to be scared of landing but it’s not that bad anymore. The only thing that scares me is the things that can go wrong but that’s why there’s training for those things.

Have you flown solo yet? If so, is it more liberating or do you prefer having someone there with you?

I have not flown solo yet but I am hoping to in the summer. I feel like it will definitely feel interesting to finally fly by myself and not have someone to guide me with what I’m doing.

Do you have any advice to give to anyone who’s thinking about going into aviation? (Schooling, pricing, patience, anxiety)

I was told by multiple other pilots to NOT major in aviation flight science or anything of that nature. But something like aviation management or almost any other major. I would major in something else just so I have something to fall back on if it doesn’t work out. Definitely do your research before you just pick a flight school. There’s a lot involved with getting into one. For example, when I first started I was on a waitlist for about a year. Another thing to look at is the cost. It is going to be expensive so I would start saving as soon as you can. Just for a private pilot license alone, it can range from 9,000 to 20,000 depending on where you go. Also, make sure you’re medically fit because if you can’t get a first-class medical you won’t be able to become a commercial pilot. But in the end, I feel it would be worth it.

How do you deal with the bipolar temperatures at your track meets, what do you bring or do to keep yourself content?

I keep two blankets in my car specifically for track so I have something to sit on and keep me warm just in case. When the weather is actually nice I usually just bring one blanket and have pajama pants I take on and off before I race. When it’s cold I bring all of my blankets, a blanket sweatshirt, pajama pants, a hoodie, and my varsity jacket. But when it’s raining I usually have everything that I have for cold weather but I try to stay under the tent to keep dry.I am usually cheering my friends on so I am occupied when I’m not racing.

What is your favorite event(s) to do when it comes to track and what are your least favorite?

 My favorite events are the 200m and the 4×200. I enjoy these races the most because I feel like the distance is not too much and it is super competitive. I feel accomplished once I’m done running. It’s not my absolute favorite but I do like the 300m hurdles when I like a challenge. It is definitely a harder race and kinda hurts at one point but it is also a bit fun.

Graduation is a month away, do you have any expectations of yourself before you leave?

It is really crazy to me to think that graduation is one month away. I just have to keep on doing my work and keep up the grades that I have because I do take pride in my grades. I hope that I do well on college because being an adult kinda scares me a bit. I am going to miss my underclassmen as well. I hope that I was a good influence on them.


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