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When Dylan Eastin graduated high school he thought he wanted to become a trauma surgeon.  He applied to Baylor University as a biology pre-med major and spent his first year of college working toward becoming a doctor. Then his childhood spark of interest in aviation was rekindled and is now majoring in aviation sciences major with a professional airplane pilot concentration.

“During that time I stumbled across some videos from airline cockpits and I remembered my dream of becoming a pilot,” says Eastin. “One day, one of my best friends here had said he was wanting to join Baylor’s aviation program which I didn’t know existed before that. I looked into it, thought about it for a bit, talked to my parents and haven’t regretted it since.”

Eastin says that when he was younger, his family moved to Maine from Illinois and flew often. Eastin wasn’t always comfortable with aviation, he describes one of the first times flying, “When I got on I couldn’t stop worrying and I just kept reading the safety card. When we got onto the runway and the pilot pushed the throttle forward I was pushed into my seat and then the nose went up and we were in a climb. I remember thinking ‘This is awesome. I need to do this more.’ After that, I always had a fascination with flying and travel.”

Eastin says that meeting new people in college is one of the things he’s enjoyed the most. “The aviation department here is filled with awesome people who have all become my friends and every day,” says Eastin. “I learn something new about aviation and it has been some of the most fun I have ever had.”

Connecting with others is something that Eastin has always seen the importance in. While attending iSchool High – University Park, a ResponsiveEd® charter school, Eastin says he made life-long friends that he still talks to and continues to look up to his high school teachers. He goes on to say that these relationships and the learning environment helped better prepare him for taking college courses. “My homeroom teacher, Mr. Pausky, is an alumnus of Baylor and was one reason I chose them,” says Eastin. “iSchool really helped me get here.”

This helps explain why his favorite saying would have to be ‘You can give a man a fish and it will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and it will feed him for a lifetime.’ Eastin says that he wants to be an educator one day and “give people the tools they need to be successful and survive in the future.”

Eastin has big plans for his life and knows the hard work it will take to reach them. “I hope to one day be a chief pilot at United Airlines or Delta,” he says. Eastin is proud to have been named 2019 Senior of the Year by the Baylor Aviation Department for his hard work. Eastin says that aside of piloting a Boeing 787 or Airbus A350, he hopes to retire early; eventually, go back to school for his doctorate; and become a university professor teaching aviation. Until Eastin reaches these goals, he is happy to be involved in Baylor Aviation Organization, and is working on starting another organization, AAAE. “It stands for American Association of Airport Executives and I am working on starting up a Baylor chapter,” says Eastin. “I recently went to Washington D.C. for an aviation policy seminar and I met with some people who run the national organization and I knew that many Baylor students could benefit from having this at our university.”

When asked if Eastin has any advice for students who are about to graduate high school and enter college, he says, “Keep your mind open on what you want to do and know it is okay to change majors, it does not mean you failed. Out of all the people I know that started attending Baylor the same time I did, only two have stayed on the same career and educational path.”

Eastin goes on to say, “A large majority of people, including myself, changed majors after the first year. I know for a fact that a lot of us were scared when we did so. After I changed, my adviser gave me the best advice. He said ‘Do what makes you happy in life. Yeah, you can make a lot of money as a doctor or lawyer but if you dread going to work every day – what life is that? College is a time of self-exploration so I am really happy you tried what you thought you wanted to do and had the guts to say no, this is not for me, I need to change.'”

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