You’re 18 and your plan is to finish college and then go to flight school. I honestly can’t think of a better one. I’m not sure which hiring wave you think you’ll be missing but the fact is no one know for certain when the next one will start, when it will finish, how long it will last or when the next after that will be? That’s why they call them waves, because there’s always another but you don’t know when? Regardless of when you’re ready good pilots will always find a path. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes not but it’s really not something you can control. What if you were 6 years older with the same plan and you were ready to get hired now during the pandemic when there’s not much hiring? You’d keep building your time until you were hired would you not?What if there’s another pandemic? What if there’s another economic crash? 9/11? etc… Trying to predict this industry is like trying to pick winning PowerBall numbers, it just can’t be done.
And ok so what happens if you did miss the next wave and get hired at the bottom? Would you no longer want to be a pilot? If that’s the case you really might want to rethink this whole career because there are zero guarantees you’ll catch the next wave or that they’ll even be a another wave. Or would you be glad you got hired and work your way up just like every one of has? Hopefully it’s the latter.
Divine flying can be very challenging. It requires alot of skill and knowledge to be successful. If you want to be afraid of something perhaps be afraid of not doing well. That at least is something you have control over by stepping up and putting in the effort. That’s far better than worrying where you might be on some seniority list you might be on depending on which airline might hire you depending on what the economy might do and how that particular airline might decide to expand and those new markets might do well…