Originally Posted by MGoelz
In addition to this, I was thinking: Well, I have only been on this team a year. And even at the beginning of this year, when I had my interview to be on the team, I was very comfortable speaking to the mentors in the room. I was a little nervous, because I didn't really know what to expect, but other than that, I was fine. I feel like there are so many options out there for me right now. It is really cool, actually, to think that a single program can be the basis for an amazingly positive outlook on life in general. That really has increased my self-confidence.
I think something else that has contributed to all of this, is that I was on a VEX team in eighth grade, before coming to the high school. I already kind of experienced some of this, but I wasn't really able to process all of the information being thrown at me.
I am also more self-confident because I think that FIRST provides an atmosphere that makes you feel like you are important. I know that what I contribute to the team is valuable, equally so as everyone else. I know that it takes not only what I do, but what everybody else does to keep the team going. It provides many leadership opportunities, and it has helped me to become a better speaker. I am not nervous at all to stand in front of a bunch of classmates I have known for years and give a speech; that fear was broken as soon as I was sent out to be the representative for our team during alliance selection. There is nothing more intimidating than knowing that the fate of your team lies in your hands (for that competition, at least
Like Miranda, I thought the interviews for our team were a bit nerveracking until I actually got in there. It immediately made my confidence fly. Later these interviews would help me prepare for other interview-type situations at school.
In addition, just being a part of the team had built up my confidence in many ways. During our brainstorming sessions, I think that a freshman only spoke up once. Part of this was because of our lack of experience (even with a year of VEX behind us), but after this season, I feel like I'm ready to go tell all my thoughts on the type of robot we should create next season.
Although, I have always been a pretty good public speaker in class, I definitely think that FIRST has changed the way I do a speech. For example, in a question and answer situation, being able to think quickly and critically has been greatly aided through robotics. Having to work accurately quickly definitely has its benefits.